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    Flipping Through The Atlas

    | San Jose, CA, USA | Language & Words, Top

    (I am Filipino, but people often mistake me for Chinese due to my pale skin. Another Filipino co-worker comes in while I am working with a customer. We exchange greetings in Tagalog, a Filipino language with some Spanish influences.)

    Customer: “Say that again. That thing you said to that other guy.”

    Me: “Kumusta?”

    Customer: “‘Cómo está’. That’s Spanish! What does a Chinese dude need to know Spanish for?”

    Me: “Actually, I–”

    Customer: “Say something else in Spanish!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t speak Spanish very well.”

    Customer: “Come on! Say something!”

    Me: “Vamanos?”

    Customer: “Wow! Hey, do you speak Chinese?”

    Me: “Sorry, no.”

    Customer: “Come on now! You must know some Chinese!”

    Me: “Uh… I don’t know… ‘Ni hao’?”

    Customer: “Now say something in Japanese!”

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “Japanese!”

    Me: “Arigato?”

    Customer: “Now do Russian!”

    Me: “Vodka?”