Westbound 14, 1:10 PM (or, Speaking of “What are you?”…)

I’m sitting in the very front of the forward-facing rows, on the driver’s side, in the seat nearest the window. At a light somewhere in the ID, the man sitting in front of me (in the closest of the sideways-facing seats) strikes up a conversation. Three sentences in, he asks an odd variation on one of those questions:

“What nationality are you from?”

I know full well what he’s getting at, but I play along anyway. “I’m from here.”

“No, but what is your ethnic background?”

I cut to the chase this time–no need to prolong the interrogation. “I’m mixed: black and white.”

“Well, you could pass for a lot of things: Lebanese, Egyptian, Mexican…anything with color.” He pauses and cocks his head. “People look at you and expect you to speak some languages.”

This entry was posted in living the life, overheard and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.