Saturday, August 19, 2006

Proscrimination

I've been suffering from an unusual affliction in Shanghai I call "proscrimination". It's the opposite of discrimination where instead of underestimating my abilities, people overestimate mine! Everyone I've run across assumes I can speak Mandarin and doesn't understand why I don't. Waiters, taxi drivers, shopkeepers -- you name it. I think this makes it harder for me to get around than people of non-Asian descent who don't speak the language. Service people who lack fluency in English can subtlely opt-out of dealing with foreigners but I seem to throw them for quite a loop! When is Microsoft finally going to develop that babblefish already?

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