let them eat pho

March 24th, 2006

Well, call me a silly falang, because this clueless gweilo can’t understand his own smelling-like-a-wet-dog-white-sister’s complaint:

Nail Salon

I find it very rude when I go into a nail salon and all the Chinese workers start speaking to each other in Chinese. If you come to our country, shouldn’t you be learning our language?

—Rhea, 22, white, Albany, NY

Funny thing is, when posed honestly (and not for rhetorical effect), Rhea’s question — and others like it — are really important to ask. And answer. Laurels to The National Forum On People’s Differences for creating a rather flame-free venue for cross-cultural exchange.

Well, Rhea, after realizing the woman massaging your foot is Vietnamese and not Chinese, maybe you could meditate on the apparent lack of an official pejorative for outsiders in Vietnamese. And then consider that, as has been said, Koľko rečí vieš, toľkokrát si človekom*. Sure, you can get by just fine with your monolingualism, but why settle for that? There is such a large menu of new languages for you to choose from… And the extra great thing about learning new languages? They almost all come with a tasty side of new cuisine! So go get you some pho, and chew this lesson over.
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*For our non-Slovak speaking friends: “The number of languages you know is the number of times you are human.”

3 Responses to “let them eat pho”

  1. Jeff says:

    I think it was Mahatma Ghandi, or was it Dhalsim from Street Fighter II, who once said:

    “I will meditate and then destroy you.”

    …actually I think it was Dhalsim.

    ~jeff

  2. jimmy says:

    yeah, it was Dhalsim. I think Ghandi was the other one with the blue adornments in “Excite” mode. And he never had much to say, either, after I colored his ass bloody.

    Oh, and not to take anything away from Jeremy’s post, I thought it was very nice and beautifully written, but I’m sorry, Rhea is nothing more than a whiny little chirp that should have her fucking face sawn off. How’s that for tolerance, you bloated whore? I’m sure if I translated those last few words to Vietnamese, they would smack quite familiar. Not to suggest they are foreign to her in our native tongue.
    These forums are so unbelievably tired. “Ask a Black Man”, “Ask a Gay person”. No matter what the intention, these things invariably deteriorate into pure folly at the expense of those who would otherwise be liberated from us dumb white folk’s shadow of ignorance. Where’s my god damned forum for people like Rhea?… oh,.. wait a minute…

  3. Jon Land says:

    I actually believe Rhea is 100% right. If you’re in a place… or even calling a place where the native language isn’t yours, you either should learn it or remain amongst your own kind. However, this goes both ways. In the past several weeks I have become a fluent speaker of Hindi so when I call any major customer service line, I will speak the language of the people I am trying to communicate with.