Friday, April 07, 2006

Say what?!?

Today a Chinese immigrant continuously corrected me as I placed my lunch order. I ordered “riz blanche”, she said “riz nature”. I ordered “une Coca Light”, she said “un Coca Light". I didn’t know free French lessons came with lunch. I’d much prefer a fortune cookie. One that says: "You'll Soon Learn French and This Restaurant Will Suffer a Terrible Grease Fire". I was tempted to say “êtes-vous française?” (are you French?); but I hadn’t tried the food yet and didn’t want to get black-listed so soon after moving to the neighborhood. The food wasn’t that great. I'm going to bring Fred (and a pocket full of cockroaches) there on Saturday so he can mock her accent as a little pay back.

After lunch I headed over to Monoprix (think Target) to purchase some flash cards (ironically, to help me learn French). As I stood in line someone tried to cut in front of me. There were two registers and a single line (a guy, and then me) waiting for the first cashier to open up. Then, this little portly woman in her mid-20s formed her own line at the register on the left. I started feeling anxious, hoping that that register would open up first so the guy in front of me would handle it. I’ve experienced similar situations in the past and the timing has either worked to my advantage or the cutter hasn’t challenged me when I step up to go next. This time both registers opened up simultaneously and ol’wimpy went to the right to avoid confrontation, which opened the door for portly to belly-up to the register on the left.

Having showered and put on make-up this morning, I was feeling unusually confident and thwarted her attempt. She mumbled something between her gritty teeth. I turned around and said “pardon?” She repeated her stupid self, and I said “pardon?” again. I really had no clue what she was saying, but I acted as if I couldn’t understand her because she couldn’t speak proper French. For all I know she was explaining that she was legally blind and didn’t see me. Though the smug look on her face told the truth! As I turned around to leave, she was right behind me. (I towered over her, which I know is hard to imagine, but she was border-line midget and I was wearing boots, aren’t I tough?). I said very loudly right in her face (with my certain nasty Chinese food breath) “SNEAKY BITCH”. Then I walked away (quickly).

My new expat friends taught me that it’s okay to talk to people in English when I’m upset because it scares them (and having an American accent probably helps too). So much for being the Goodwill Ambassador; seriously though, she soooo deserved it. I’m learning that just because I’m a foreigner, I don’t have to defer to those with red passports when they're being idiots. Like Fred says, stupidity has no nationality. However, I have to remember that this also applies to me.

By the way, does anyone know how to say "DUMB BITCH" in Mandarin? Because I'm pretty sure that the waitress yelled it at me as she handed me my lunch tray.

P.S. Despite my afternoon, I'm feeling great and we love the new place. More on that later . . .


Anonymous said...

Amy you started off my day with more than a few hardy ha's ha's!! Funny story,especially about the restaurant. Mom

David said...

I can't believe you had a rude waitress at a Chinese restaurant! That shocks me to no end! My people are usually so quiet and reserved . . . :-)

And I could make some comment about cockroaches and Chinese restaurants, but someone would think I was being politically incorrect, so I'll just leave that one alone. It really is too easy a target, anyway!

Cynthia Rae said...

This line cutting thing happens all the time in Italy. It is said to be a GOOD thing if you are "clever" enough to get in front of the line!!!


phil said...

I'm STILL trying to figure out what a Chinese-French accent sounds like!!