I normally enjoy the walk in, although lately the weather is too cold in the morning and then slowly changes as I get closer to work to, “too hot to wear a jacket.”Â It seems like this morning is particularly bad, as traffic does not want to let me cross and I’ve caught every single crosswalk as it counts down to the red hand.
I’m at one when I hear the question.
“How long did it take you to grow that hair, man?”
“Too long,” I answer, without thinking.
“Damn straight.”Â He looks at my hair again.Â “You Japanese?”
He goes through the list.Â Each gets a negative response.Â “Korean?Â Thai?Â Burmese?Â Laotian?Â Vietnamese?Â Malay?Â Mongolian?Â Hmong?”Â To be honest, I’m kind of impressed.Â Yet, at the same time, kind of disappointed.
He pauses to think.Â “Taiwanese?”
He pauses again, with a puzzled expression.
The walk signal changes and I step into the crosswalk.Â “Filipino,” I say without turning my head.
Midway through the crosswalk I wonder if even that word was a fair description.