Bigotry Is Ugly In Any Language

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 11, 2018

My friend and I are taking the subway. We are both Mexicans and both look like Mexicans, but my friend asked me to talk to him exclusively in Mandarin, in which I’m fluent, so that he can practise.

A middle-aged woman gets on the subway and stares, giving us a strange look. I think nothing about it since it’s not common to hear a conversation in Mandarin in a Mexico City subway.

Suddenly, she suddenly says, quite loudly, in Spanish, “Damn Chinese. They’re everywhere! They come, open a restaurant, exploit their Mexican employees, and take all of our money back to China; they don’t even try to learn Spanish.” Then she goes, “Ching chang chun li,” trying to imitate Chinese.

My friend and I begin to laugh, which only makes her get angrier and turn blood red.

I respond to her, in Spanish, “Ma’am, we’re both Mexicans, and most surely can speak better Spanish than you do!”

A few people on the subway laugh really hard. The woman turns an even brighter shade of red, and suddenly remembers she has to get off at the next station.

What’s The Chinese Word For “Owned”?

, , , , , | Friendly | November 19, 2018

(My friend is a very attractive woman who likes to dress nicely, but when this happens she has been going through a rough patch. She’s not wearing nice clothes, nor wearing any jewellery or makeup. She also has red, swollen eyes from crying. I’m taking her to have dinner at her favourite restaurant to cheer her up, when a group of Chinese girls gets on the same bus we’re riding and stands right in front of where we’re sitting. I have been studying Chinese for four years. This takes place in Chinese.)

Chinese Girl #1: “Oh, God… Look at that girl in the black shirt. She looks awful.”

Chinese Girl #2: *laughs* “Yeah… Why did she go out like this? She’s so ugly.”

Chinese Girl #1: “Look at her friend, though. He looks nice.”

Chinese Girl #3: *to me* “Hey, handsome. Don’t pay attention to that ugly girl. Come with us.”

(They all begin to laugh, thinking no one has understood anything they’ve said.)

Me: *in Chinese* “No, thanks. Being with her, what would I need someone like any of you for?”

(The three girls stared at me before one of them asked if I understood all that they said. I nodded, and they all turned a bright red colour I never even knew people could get. They moved to the back of the bus and tried to avoid eye contact with me.)

Little Girls Who Try To Beat The Crap Out Of Each Other With Plastic Golf Clubs Find Solace In Texting

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 16, 2018

When I was a little kid, my mom became the best friend of a woman who had a daughter around my age. The two of us would end up in forced playdates every time they wanted to hang out.

Since we both had terrible tempers and brought up the worst of each other, our relationship was tense at best and violent at worst. Our mothers didn’t seem to care. As we grew up, though, this changed. I realized that while we were sitting together on the couch, texting in silence. She looked up for a second and said, “This is way better than beating the crap out of each other with plastic golf clubs.”

I had to agree.

The Power Of Social Media To Do Good

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 8, 2018

On September 19th, 2017, Mexico City and the surrounding states were hit by a powerful earthquake. Many buildings collapsed, and over 300 people died.

I belong to a Facebook group aimed at people trying to learn a foreign language, and its members come from all around the world. On the day of the earthquake, I posted on the group asking for prayers, no matter the religion, as well as support messages for those in need.

The next day, I woke up to see thousands of replies. There were prayers from many Christian denominations, from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., as well as messages from over a hundred countries. My friends and I organised to deliver food wherever it was needed, and I made sure that everything we gave out had one of the messages I received.

It taught me two very important lessons. The first one is that we can be brought together no matter what your religion or your nationality is. The second one is that you can always count on another language nerd for help.

Thank GOD That Wasn’t As Bad As It Could Have Been

, , , | Right | October 9, 2018

(I am serving tables during breakfast. While serving hot coffee to a customer, I accidentally spill some, and it lands on the bare skin of his young daughter’s foot.)

Me: “OH, MY GOD! I’m so, so sorry, miss!”

Daughter: *waves her hand* “Oh, don’t worry, hon. It must be God’s way of telling me that I shouldn’t be wearing uncovered shoes on Sunday!”

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