January 12, 2005

No hablo espanol. Que hora es? Mi casa es su casa.

On Wednesdays, the majority of the young kids I work with speak Spanish as their primary language. The only Spanish I know, I learned from taking Spanish 1 during summer school sometime in high school. Why I took the class, I know not. I got some cd-roms that are supposed to teach me how to speak Spanish, but the freaking program runs so fast, I haven't picked up anything beyond hola amigo and uno burrito por favor. I can usually pick up enough to figure out what the kid is trying to say. I do know most of the bad words so I can call the kids on that when they start using words they should not be.

Last week, one girl named Elva, who likes to harass me in as many ways as possible, was making my job difficult as usual. She was speaking to one of her friends in Spanish, and they figured out that I understood parts of what they were saying. I tell them I know a little Spanish. So she starts asking me all kinds of stuff in Spanish, and probably making fun of me and saying all kinds of mean things. So I just started responding in Cantonese. The kids thought it was hilarous. So today I see her and she starts speaking to me in Spanish, and I just answer in Cantonese. It doesn't even matter what she ways to me, because I can say whatever I want and act like I understand completely.

One thing bothers me is how whenever any kid/teenager ask me to say something in Chinese, they always pretend to speak Chinese by saying stupid stuff like 'Ching-chong-chung.' The first guy who won Last Comic Standing, Dat Phan (a funny Asian guy), had a great joke about that. Goes something like: When I walk by people and they see I'm Asian, they always say something like 'chong ching chong' behind my back. Why do they do that? I don't go walking around behind white people saying things like 'apple cat dog.' It's funnier when he tells it.

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