“Where are you from?” asked the guard at the Getty Center.
Juliana, Newton, and I were at the Getty Center doing a scavenger hunt, and I was searching for a clock that was one of the clues.
“Um… Los Angeles,” I responded. I could see where this conversation was going and did not like it at all.
“Well, what nationality or ethnicity are you?”
“My nationality is American.”
He was getting to see that this was probably a bad idea.
“I mean, what ethnicity?”
I finally fessed up. “Chinese.”
Seriously? “Hello….” I said back.
He then told me that he knew how to say hello in 60 languages so he could greet visitors in their native language. Maybe I was being unfair, but I said, “That’s great, but you can greet me in English because, you know, American!”
Hadn’t encountered something like that in a while, but situations like that tend to bring up the nasty Asian American activist side of me. Boils up to the surface. Maybe I should have responded in Swahili (the guard was of obvious African decent, so it’s completely reasonable to assume he speaks Swahili, right?).