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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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These people still exist? WHY? [20110131|23:22]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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So tonight was the leaving do of one of my favourite people in the world whom I really don't want to go away, and I was all full of love for humankind because I'd just spent several hours laughing at uproariously geeky jokes and then I got on the train home four minutes before it left, which was a mistake.

It was a mistake because of the man who plonked down into the seat next to me. I happened to sit across from two Chinese dudes, and Mr Man, whom we shall henceforth refer to as Racist Assface, assumed that none of us could speak English. He turned to me and said, really loudly, "Do you know if this train goes to LETCH-WORTH?" (Anyone with the slightest degree of sensitivity will be able to picture the manner in which he spoke.)

"Yes," I answered calmly. "It does."

"Oh!" Racist Assface said delightedly. "You speak English!"

"Yes," I said. "It should arrive at Letchworth in 28 minutes' time."

"You speak really good English," Racist Assface replied.

I smiled frostily. And then his head exploded.*

* I may have simply wished this last bit.

I still can't quite believe this actually happened.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: angelcityblues
2011-01-31 23:52 (UTC)
*blink*

WHAT?!

I don't even know, L., I just don't know. What the...!?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 00:13 (UTC)
S, the only thing that kept me from actually trying to explode his head was that one of the other guys caught my eye, grinned at me and rolled his eyes. Then he started talking quietly in Mandarin to his friend. It was beautiful.
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[User Picture]From: helpful_mammal
2011-02-01 00:22 (UTC)
Setting such people on fire works wonders.

Actually, so does saying something like 'So sorry, my English is not so good. Could you say again clearer and louder please?' and keep doing that until, by increments, they are yelling at the top of their lungs and the entire carriage is watching them in horror. They'll get self-conscious eventually. That or stomp off muttering Daily Mail-ite opinions (foreign languages give you cancer, you know).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 11:02 (UTC)
giles linked this sketch from Big Train: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fijBUeqiW0g. I'm so going to do this next time.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 11:00 (UTC)
It was mind-boggling. I'd somehow managed to convince myself that this sort of thing just didn't happen any more.
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[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2011-02-01 00:58 (UTC)
Unfortunately... I saw people doing that at government offices in Hong Kong. I also saw British people literally get hopping mad that Hong Kong Chinese bureaucrats couldn't speak English. It was amazing. And yes they would also yell at people for directions on the train. I know this is different since he assumed from appearance in a predominantly English speaking country that you didn't speak English, but that's what it reminded me of.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 11:04 (UTC)
It's just bizarre. I thought everyone had heard the stereotypical jokes about English-speaking tourists and that no one behaved this way any more. Clearly I was wrong.
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[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2011-02-01 01:06 (UTC)
I'm walking on the subway platform and moved to the left in order to avoid some people who stopped randomly and got in the way of another woman behind me and she said"WATCH WHERE YOURE GOING" and I apologized and she replied " IDIOT!" to which I simply said Jesus! because I was so flabbergasted. Who does that? I followed her down the platform and just stared at her but didn't get up the nerve to confront her. It really hurt my feelings.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:58 (UTC)
Oh, commuter rage. It's inexplicable and very sad. I'm sorry you were a victim of it.

Even nice people get it sometimes. There's a fair chance she'd have shamefacedly apologised if you'd confronted her.
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2011-02-01 01:10 (UTC)
You're a good soul, I'd have said, "I wish I could say the same."

Among Asshats, this man is a god. What the hell made him think speaking loudly to you would magically make you speak English if you did not?

Asshat.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:59 (UTC)
I'm storing up all these retorts for future use. This man can't be the last Asshat I'll ever meet, much as I wish it!
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2011-02-01 04:10 (UTC)
I would have said, "Yes, and so do you"!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:56 (UTC)
"Who'da thunk it."
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2011-02-01 04:25 (UTC)
wow. i would have been tempted to reply with something like "i think you meant to say that i speak English really well," but that might be excessive nitpicking on my part.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:56 (UTC)
AHAHA. It's pointedly pedantic. I love it. I'm saving that one up.
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[User Picture]From: melissa_maples
2011-02-01 05:22 (UTC)
Wait, I'm confused... I'm looking at photos of you and trying to work out what ethnicity he thought you were. And now I'm realising that *I* don't know what ethnicity you are hahaaaa. It never occurred to me to ask because it's not that important to me other than curiosity about culture and so forth.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:55 (UTC)
I'm half Filipino and half white. I find that people often assume I'm whatever it is that they want me to be - there are very few nationalities that people haven't guessed. I think the RA assumed I was Chinese because I was sitting with two Chinese men. He seemed surprised when he worked out that we weren't together.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:51 (UTC)
I keep watching this. It's not getting old.
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[User Picture]From: enterlinemedia
2011-02-01 06:06 (UTC)
wow. I love you keeping cool. The world does have idiots and we all have our stupid people stories.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:52 (UTC)
This is why it's worth remembering the retorts that you (and your friends) come up with after the fact. You'll almost certainly get to use them in future. :/
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[User Picture]From: automatic_kafka
2011-02-01 07:32 (UTC)
Maybe he meant you spoke it better than he did, ha ha.

Seriously.

"You speak really well" or "you sound smart" sound complimentary, but I've been slighted enough that I'm pretty sure they're cutting off right before they finish with, "for one of you people".

Sorry you had to deal with that. It's fucked.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:53 (UTC)
The only time I tell people they speak English well is during my conversations with people who are trying to improve their English. I think that's about the only time it's appropriate!
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[User Picture]From: ginasketch
2011-02-01 10:20 (UTC)
Not the same, but reminds me of this little incident:

http://ginasketch.livejournal.com/543724.html
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 10:51 (UTC)
Now I'm wishing I'd asked those two guys how to say "You are a twat" in Mandarin after the Racist Assface left the train.
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[User Picture]From: senusert
2011-02-01 13:07 (UTC)
Speechless....
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-01 17:28 (UTC)
Yeah, that seemed to be how everyone around us who saw the exchange felt as well!
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From: anokapolis
2011-02-03 02:32 (UTC)
Unbelievable, sh*t like him are what makes the world a dark place and he ain't alone. Good for you of keeping sane and smiling back at them is the best one can do to such person.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-06 00:01 (UTC)
It's really the only option to preserve your own sanity!
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