Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Uncomfortable conversations with a recent immigrant

Partygoer: So, S, you've just gotten here from India. How do you feel?
S: Well, it's still a little overwhelming, you know. I'm fresh off the boat -- only been here for a few weeks.
Partygoer: (Uncomfortable silence)
S: Great to meet you!

Z to S, in hushed tone: Ummm ... so Americans are a little more PC than that.
S: What do you mean?
Z: It might make people feel weird because you're talking about your recent immigrant status in what could be construed as a derogatory way. Wikipedia says, "The term "FOB" has been used with offensive intent, often to those with a foreign accent or ethnic style of dressing. Depending on the person's attitude to the culture in question, he or she may or may not take offense at these statements. The term may also be used by people who themselves were immigrants years ago, in a way turning the insult once hurled at them onto the new arrivals, and in so doing emphasizing their own progress in assimilation or improved language skills."
S: Can't we just tell them to fuck off?
Z: ... And never the twain shall meet.

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