Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


There was a torrential down pour of rain going on when I left for school today. The umbrella vendors stationed by the train station and bus stop were making a killing; almost all of their umbrellas had sold out. A large Jamaican lady approached one of the vendors, a small Asian woman; she could’ve Korean, Cambodian, or Vietnamese for all I know. I’m not good at distinguishing races. Even among my own people I am totally clueles,it’s a talent that has eluded me all my life. Which I’m sure has you thinking right now Mia, then how do you know she was Jamaican?” I could tell by her accent well that and the Jamaican flag imprinted on the front of her canvas tote.

The Jamaican woman looked over the small Asian woman’s umbrella selection. All the compact umbrellas had been snatched up leaving a dozen or so large umbrellas for sale. “Where are the small umbrellas?” the woman asked. “No more, all gone. So sorry.” The Asian vendor replied as she smiled at the Jamaican woman. The Jamaican woman rolled her eyes, “what the hell, did your relatives in China stop making little umbrellas?” she said to the woman as she gestured towards the remaining umbrellas. The vendor looked confused, “What?” she asked. The Jamaican woman put her hand on her hip and spoke slowly enunciating every word as if the vendor didn’t understand English, “I said what the hell… did your relatives in China stop making little umbrellas?”Oh no she didnt just repeat it again. The vendor looked stunned her face flushed in embarrassment. “Miss, I Cambodian, not Chinese.” “Whatever, you all look alike to me anyway.”

Something about that just pissed me off. oh this is just too good to pass up. I thought to myself. I smiled at the vendor and winked. “I got this.” I told her as I pulled out my cell phone. ‘You got what?” the Jamaican woman asked. I held up my finger to silence her as I pretended to go through my phone book. “I’m calling China and letting my friend at the umbrella factory know that a Haitian woman in New York wants know what’s the deal with the compact umbrellas."

Now it was the Jamaican’s woman turned to be insulted and stunned. “I am not Haitian, I am Jamaican.” I waved my hand at her dismissively an obvious imitation of what she’d just done, “What ever “ I said as the vendor hid her laughter behind her hand. The woman attempted to stare me down I stared right back at grateful for once that I’d been gifted with what my friends call intimidating eyes. She looked away first and I smiled in victory. She stomped off using really colorful adjectives to describe me finally ending with “Fucking Dominican bitch!” as she started to go down the stairs into the subway. I called after her, “Hey, hey lady I’m Puerto Rican, not Dominican!”


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