Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Symons: “Do they speak Mandarin or Cantonese?
Wang: “Who’s ‘they’?”
Symons: “The people in Taiwan.”
Wang: “They speak Taiwanese and they speak Mandarin. And in Canada, where I’m from, they speak English and French.”
Symons: “I knew that. You’re probably from the west coast of Canada.”
Wang: “Why do you think that, Red?”
Symons: “Because it’s closer to Asia.”
Okay- so that just happened. In 2017. In the developed world.
What in the…? My first reaction after reading it was that it must have been some sort of misinterpretation. After all, I say terrible things (often). For example I have a friend in Spain who’s half Middle Eastern and I sometimes introduced him to people as half terrorist. He’d answer that I was a complete idiot or a total homosexual, and everyone would laugh and it was all in good fun. I listened to the recording, and that wasn’t the case in the interaction above- awkward from start to finish. Appalling.