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Speaking English Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Polite With It

, , , , , | Right | February 20, 2020

(My friend is working as a bank teller in a branch of a major Arabic bank in the middle of Sydney. She was hired for being bilingual; both of her parents are of Palestinian descent, although all three of them now have Australian citizenship. My friend is a Christian and doesn’t wear any kind of headscarf, but she still looks very Arabic. An elderly, Caucasian lady walks into the middle of the branch and stands there, looking confused. My friend walks up to her and politely asks in English:)

Teller: “Is everything all right? May I help you with something today, ma’am?”

Elderly Lady: *visibly relieved* “Oh, thank goodness! And you speak excellent English, too!”

Teller: “Well, thank you, and so do you.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, but I was born here!”

Teller: “Oh, so was I.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, I mean, my parents were Australian.”

Teller: “Yes, and so are mine.”

Elderly Lady: *flustered again* “Oh, you foreign types, coming here to take our jobs and then you speak to me like this! All you want from this country is to buy up our businesses and get rich!”

(My poor friend managed to grit her teeth and deal with this bigoted old bat, and it turns out that she had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested… in Arabic-speaking companies overseas, of course.)

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