Friday, 11 March 2005

I'm white but not british

I was on my seat, relaxed, ready to take on my work-load of the day and whatever the public I'm serving would throw at me. Sure enough, an old gentleman (as opposed to a gentle old man) came, literally threw at me some stuff he wasn't sure of. When I declared what it was, and how much, after checking my screen, he exclaimed, contempt on his face, "Ah! so you learned the language, eh?"

In circumstances like this, I try to think of my Employee Handbook (which I can't remember ever perusing) and other people around who may have heared the remark and who could be affected by my reaction. But as instinct would have it, I smiled and ignored what the old man said and focused instead to, age! Yes, he's old and should know better to be lambasting racist slurs, but then again, he might have had a terrible experience with "foreigners" or might have gone to some concentration camps in the service of the crown. Or he might just be reading too much Daily Mail.

On the other hand, westerners in Surigao are most of the time heckled and greeted with "Hi, Joe!" as if all white men in the world are Americans. It is a remnant of the years when the Kano (american) soldiers were all over the islands establishing and maintaining their naval bases while impregnating some willing virgins at the same time. When K stayed in Surigao for 3 years, this greeting irritated him. Three years and they still called him Joe!

In Chesterfield I am a foreigner, in Surigao, K was. Now we're even.


Astrantia said...

Excuse me one moment... that guy was a WANKER!!!! What an idiot.

And in the Philippines I too got "Hey Joe!" and "Kano!!"... which really got on my nerves. People would also jump when they saw me... weird.

AnP said...


that's one good way to look at it! Positive! :-)

Am AnP nga pala, got here through Amie's blog.

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