26 January, 2012

The Toledo waiter

The waiter offered my a small discount. The kindness and grace of random strangers I meet while traveling. The conversation when something like this:

Waiter: "It's the least I can do. We Chinese must take care of each other. Where are you from?"

Me: "That is very kind. I live in Paris but am from California."

Waiter: looking confused, "But you are Chinese. I mean, your face . . . and we have been speaking Chinese."

Me: "Actually I'm American."

Waiter: "No worries. You speak Chinese,your family came from China some time ago. You're Chinese."

Me: "Well Ethnically I am Chinese I guess."

Waiter: "How it is in Paris? Is it hard to find a nice Chinese girl there?"

Me: "Umm, I really just fancy a nice girl."

Waiter: "Oh you're like one of them, the foreigners (meaning any non-Chinese)."

I guess I lost my Chinese membership card on account of the last question.

Cultural differences.