Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hello, It's Me

They see my Asian face and automatically the majority of people here think that I'm sympa, gentil, douce. Translated, it basically means that solely on the basis of race they believe that I'm mild-mannered and super nice. A very good stereotype, you probably think, but being put in a box and easily labelled is just not my thing. My friends will tell you that while I am kind (or at least, I try to be), I am not at all sweet. I can mouth off almost as well as your average southerner.

One night, I saw a video clip of the comedian Patrick Bosso, who gets his material from his growing-up years here in the south. One of his skits had him saying that in Marseille, where swearing is an art form, people have even gone as far as replaced their commas with "putain" and their periods with "enculer."

That gave me an idea.

The following day, while setting up my stand at the market, the usual morning ritual began: one after the other, fellow vendors came to chat before customers arrived. One was in a particularly playful mood, and kept rearranging my necklaces.

It was late, I was running out of time, so I said, "Lee, arrêtes tes conneries." (Lee, stop your nonsense.)

He looked mildly alarmed. A sweet Asian lady shouldn't be saying that. "C'est vulgaire," he told me. (That's vulgar.)

Putting on my sweetest smile, I told him, "Pas du tout." (Not at all.)

I continued by replacing my comma and my period as the comedian had taught me. "Comme ça, c'est vulgaire: Lee putain arrêtes tes conneries enculer" (Like this, it's vulgar: Lee fuck stop your foolishness assfuck)

His jaw dropped, but he finally left my necklaces alone. I smiled sweetly once more.

P.S. Don't worry, the guy grew up here, so we're still friends. I think.


Makis said...

Don't forget to add connard somewhere to make it even more vulgar.

haze said...

Hahaha that was the 1st thing I asked Bernard to teach me, des "gros mots" ! Now I learned so many things, want to share my personal made dictionary with me, Apol?!

apol said...

MAKIS, next time, I will!

HAZE, can we do that on December 3???

Anonymous said...

I love it! I hate the Asian stereotype here too. The badings here call men who prefer Asians only (for their supposedly pleasant, pliant nature) "rice queens." I think they use a similar term in the Philippines too!

apol said...

KAT, I knew you'd get it! A Chinese-American girl I know says she gets harassed on the streets of Virginia all the time. Ikaw din?

bahag said...

apol i just miss working with you!

apol said...

BAHHHHHAAAAAAGGGGGGG!!! How are you? Where are you? Punta ka dito! Walang mga taong naka-bahag pero maraming toro at keso :)