So this happened to me last week and I’m still a bit miffed by this thing that happened to me last week. I was at work, when a customer came up to me and said “magandang hapon” which for those of you who don’t speak Tagalog means Good Morning in English. Like many of you, I had no clue what was being said because I’m not Filipino. The only reason I know how to say good morning in Tagalog is thanks to Google Translate, so basically I don’t know how to say it. Now normally I would just brush it off to ignorance after I looked at him with confusion, he proceeded to follow up with “oh what are you?” Or something to that effect. I responded with I’m Chinese, and I don’t speak Tagalog. He then blurted out some form of “ni hao” which caused me to be somewhat offended. I’m not sure if it was the manner in which this whole exchange happened or whether it was due to the fact that he just assumed my ethnicity. It just confuses me as to why people think it’s okay to assume someone’s race or ethnicity, then blurt out the only phrase you know in their language as if to say “Hey I can speak your language so connect with me on that level”. Now don’t get me wrong here, I do understand the desire to share what you know of another language with native speakers of that language. However I’ve never, despite wanting to greet Hispanic customers, blurted out anything like “buenos dias” or “que quieres” because I understand that I have nothing to follow it up with other than “sorry that’s all I know because I learned some Spanish years ago but have since forgotten most of it and haven’t kept it up enough to carry a conversation”.
I think the reason this irks me so much is because you’d never see anyone of any other ethnicity just shout random English phrases to Caucasians and be like sorry I don’t know anything else. Or maybe you would and I’m just overly sensitive about the subject matter. Is it just me being racially over sensitive or is this something that we as a society should stop doing?
It’s probably one of the best descriptions of a boring date I’ve heard in my recent past. This conversation with a friend about her latest date went as follows:
Her: “We talked about hobbies and stuff”
Her: “ummm… he liked watching cnn, and tried jogging once”
Me: “he tried that once?”
Her: “and used to like watching sports”
Me: “why are all these past tense?… he used to like doing these things… does that mean he got bored of doing those boring things so he ran out of boring things to do?”
Her: “Because now he likes to do nothing”
While this amused me, it left me to think about my life and what i find to be interesting. What makes interesting interesting, and what makes boring well.. boring? I don’t think there is an absolute scale of interesting vs boring where some things are interesting independent of everything and other things are just boring. There will always be someone who enjoys some things while other people hate it for every thing we find in life. It’s all about perspective and life experience. I wouldn’t necessarily I live the most fun filled life, but it’s about my outlook and how I perceive my life. Am I living the life of fun and adventure I had believed my life to be when I was a kid? No not at all. Not even remotely close. Do I enjoy my life on the whole? Of course, and it’s precisely that attitude towards life that becomes desirable to others. People have come up to me a lot over the past few years and have commented how they think I live the life. They’re jealous of how I have all the fun in the world, travelling here and there, or I’m always going on adventures. But to me, my life is just plain, I make the most of what I have and I just have a positive outlook on my life. It can also be one of those the grass is greener on the other side sorts of things. I’m not entirely sure. I do know that I’ve had my share of boring dates myself, but I enjoyed the company I was with, so yeah we didn’t do anything extraordinary. More often than not the simplest things allow you to get to know someone the best. So while this guy my friend went on a date with was probably immensely boring to her, that’s because he didn’t make his life seem interesting and he didn’t know how to make the most of everything he had. Or maybe he did his best and was just a plain old boring date.