SCENE: I am leaving the office for a meeting on campus. DUDE is sitting on the steps outside the office door with an assortment of cassette tapes (!), enthusiastically chatting with another dude. He and his tapes are blocking the exit.
ME: Excuse me.
DUDE: Oh, hey, sorry, lemme get out of your way. (He half-looks at me.) Hola.
DUDE picks up some of his cassettes, leaving a path for me.
ME: Thank you.
As I leave, DUDE looks up at my face for the first time.
DUDE: Oh! You are Chinese!
ME (halfway down the block by now): wtf.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Adventures in racial misidentification