Readying myself for being Asian

I was feeling somewhat exhausted from flying early in the morning from PIT to BWI and stumbled out to the ground transportation at the terminal. As I finally caught the shuttle to the MARC/Amtrak station, a middle-aged graying man got on.

He glanced at me, studying my sprawling bags over the seats.

Then he leaned forward and mumbled, “The bus was late. I am trying to catch the 9:20.”

I could barely make out the words and stared back blankly. I slowly nodded.

“Don’t speak English?” he asked.

I couldn’t help but pass judgement quickly. “No, it’s just loud in here,” I motioned to the bus in my American English.

He said something extra and I realized that another reason that I couldn’t understand him was a thick Southern accent. We exchanged additional pleasantries and settled back into silence.

1 thought on “Readying myself for being Asian

  1. I got approached last week by some tourists asking for directions back towards Fisherman’s Wharf. Before I said anything, they came up to me and asked if I spoke English. When I replied, they were surprised and I helped them along. It’s just funny how people can still be so pre-conceived about stereotypes.

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