• Follow Us on Twitter!

  • Latest Photos

  • Last Books Read

    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.

  • Advertisements

Little Old Ladies Magnet

My friend Anna from Barcelona once told me about the several occasions she has brought friends from all over the world to meet her mom. Upon meeting the new visitors, Anna’s mom, in all her naive friendliness, tries to strike up a conversation with the strangers, all in Catalan. Confusion sets in on the strangers’ faces, and she realizes they do not understand her. So she speaks again. Louder. Slower. In Catalan. When Anna explains that these people don’t understand a word of Catalan, she gets it. And then she speaks again. Louder. Slower. In Spanish, which they don’t understand either.

Which brings me back to NYC.

As per a previous post, I often get asked for directions. Amongst those who have approached me have been many very old Asian ladies. The story is always similar. First they gently tap on my shoulder. After a long stare confirming that I am, indeed, Asian, they proceed to ask me questions. It’s always in some foreign Asian language. And I never understand what they’re saying. So I smile and shake my head to indicate that I don’t understand. But they try again. Pointing, speaking louder, speaking slower. In Vietnamese, in Japanese, in Cambodian, in Cantonese, but you see, never in English. I’ve resigned to always nodding and agreeing with them. My acquiesce to questions I do not have a clue about might result in a Vietnamese lady ending up going the wrong direction on the subway and landing in Queens (as it happened to me once) or a Cantonese lady getting callous feet after being sent in the opposite direction of her destination, etc.

In all cases I will most understandably accept these gentle, friendly, senior citizens’ rage, whose only mistake was to ask me for directions. But really, whatcha gonna do?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: