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.

Weed Now Legal In Canada: Engineering Some Wonderful Moments

, , , , , | Friendly | November 9, 2018

(Weed in Canada has recently been legalized. Riding the train home after a lunch date, I see this from across the aisle.)

Guy #1: *produces a mini-bong from one of his pockets and turns to his friend* “Give me my engineering degree!”

Guy #2: *instantly whips out and hands over a plastic straw*

Guy #1: *sticks it on the mini-bong, beams proudly at this engineering achievement, and smiles at his friend* “Thanks!”

(They missed their stop.)

Time To Say Bye Bye Baby

| Vienna, Austria | Friendly | February 3, 2016

(I’m in an elevator leaving a subway station. Entering with me are an old man and a young woman, the latter with a baby stroller filled with shopping bags.)

Old Man: *leaning above the stroller* “Hey, sweet baby, look at me!”

Young Woman: *with suppressed laughter* “There is no baby.”

Old Man: *still face to face with nothing but plastic bags* “Why won’t he talk to me? He’s so quiet!”

Young Woman: *no longer amused* “That’s my shopping.”

(We exit the elevator, the old man still doesn’t want to let go of the imaginary baby and sets out to follow her. I start walking into the other direction until his tone changes and my conscience kicks in.)

Old Man: *angrily* “Did I scare him? Why doesn’t he answer when I talk to him?”

Me: *calling back towards them* “Hey, [Some Random Female Name], where are you going? Come on, hurry, our exit is over there.”

(She was very relieved to take the long way to the original destination.)

No Stopping Him Now

| Boston, MA, USA | Friendly | June 11, 2015

(A young boy is misbehaving on the subway train. To try to calm him, his mother is reading him the list of stops.)

Mother: “So we have Haymarket, then we have State, then Downtown Crossing, then Chinatown—”

(At the mention of this last stop, the boy’s eyes go wide.)

Boy: *excitedly* “You mean this train goes all the way to CHINA?”

Bus Stop Flop

| Stockholm, Sweden | Working | May 11, 2015

(I’m a tourist in Stockholm, and have purchased a blue chipcard that lets me ride the subway for three days. After the third day, I need to get to my ferry, so I decide to buy one more single ticket. I’m in the little underground shop that sells single tickets.)

Me: “Hello, can I have a single ticket, please?”

Cashier: “Sure.” *rings me up*

Me: “You need my blue card?”

Cashier: “No.”

Me: “Are you sure? The ticket needs to be on the card, right?”

Cashier: “No. Here’s your receipt.”

Me: “But how do I go through…?”

Cashier: “Just go. The clerk will open the gate for you.”

Me: “But I…” *sigh*

(I go up to the clerk at the gates, and show him my receipt.)

Me: “Can you put my ticket on my card?”

Clerk: “Here you go.” *opens gate*

Me: “That’s not what I needed…”

Clerk: “GO!”

(Confused, I proceed through the gate, no longer able to speak to him. I go on the subway and at my final stop, I get out. I approach the clerk at the subway gates.)

Me: “Hi! I have my card, and this ticket. Can you transfer the ticket to my card?”

Clerk: “Uh, no. Your receipt is your ticket.”

Me: “I need to go on a bus from here. Can you please transfer it?”

Clerk: “No. You can use the ticket on the bus.”

Me: “All right. Where are the buses?”

Clerk: “Go down to the subway platform and at the end are the bus stops.”

(I followed his directions and found another exit at the far end of the platform. There was a stairway going down to a bus stop, but my number wasn’t listed, so I assumed it was somewhere else. I hesitated to go out because at that exit, there was no clerk on duty at the gate. Eventually, I went out, but there was no other bus stop. I ended up walking the last mile in the rain, along the roadside, with a heavy backpack on my back.)

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