Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Foreign Contaminations

O.K. a list of some minor annoyances I've had here. Most of them seem to have something to do with being a foreigner or being perceived as one. Or maybe I just don't like perfect strangers telling me what I should and should not do.

Other people on the subway telling me my kids can't put their feet on the seat, even briefly. You know what? MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS - it's a subway with a million people going in and out everyday, it's NOT YOUR LIVINGROOM.

This annoyance should be offset by the women several seats away from me who observed me searching for a tissue for Pascal's nose, and got up out of her seat and asked me if I would like to use one of her tissues. Very kind, very thoughtful.

Other people telling me what I can and cannot throw away, and then they proceed to chuck their paper waste in with the regular garbage. Really, this old lady told me I couldn't put a rubber tire (cleaning out our cellar) in the regular trash, all the while she's shoving her paper waste in the regular trash with the paper waste dumpster three steps behind her. Later her friend asked me where I was from, and since CA is so nice, why am I here? I told her that yes CA is nice, and so is Vienna that's why I'm here. Why are you asking, is there some reason I shouldn't be here? Welcome to you to.

The above incident perfectly illustrates how foreigners, or outsiders of any sort, are held accountable to a higher standard then the in crowd. Typical, it starts in school and never really goes away. I gotta remember to hold my criticism of "others" in check sometimes too.

POLICE. Need I say more. Today a cop standing on the sidewalk with a radar gun admonished me and Pascal for crossing the street when the crossing light was red. She yelled across the street once I had crossed "Ja, nice role model for your son!" There wasn't a car within 500 yards of us, and we crossed a small one way street, with perfect sight lines of oncoming traffic. Thanks for the info Polizei!! I'm sure you're like a role model perfect parent yourself. The police job seems to attract people who like to tell other people what to do, my least favorite flavor of people.

LOCALISM. Some california examples, like surfers in Santa Cruz. They think all the wave should rightly be theirs because they live in Santa Cruz. Well how long have you lived in Santa Cruz? I lived my entire life in the Bay Area, does that mean they're mine by seniority? Also, I didn't especially like the way the Bay Area was choking on traffic, displays of newfound wealth, and an over crowded housing market during the internet startup boom, but what are you going to do? Tell all the new "foreigners" to go back home?

NATIONALISM. It's bad, usually always a recipe for disaster. Thank god the Bush years are over.

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