I could never be accused of being politically correct but, on the other hand, neither could I be viewed as being prejudiced against races, foreign countries or bad breath. It is this lack of artifice that causes me to get away with the most outrageous things. A particular man once asked me to meet him outside the gates of a museum in London. It was during the winter months, it was dark outside.
He: I will get the car and then come and pick you up outside the gate.
Me: How is that going to work?
Me: Well it is dark and you are black. How will I even see you?
He: Well, I’ll be able to spot you.
Me: Oh yeah, because I am white.
Needless to say he laughed. He is a very proud black man and has every reason to be proud of that fact. No one on earth would ever say that to him and get away with it – except for me.
I shall now speak of behavior I have observed since my move to Vancouver. I have never been in the presence of extremely rich Asians, I think most probably Chinese, but I have not asked to see their passport (because I am a Canadian and Canadians are known for their politeness) This is of course not true of each and every rich Asian but never have I seen such rude behavior. They are uniformly rude to everyone, even each other. Now you politically correct individuals are going to say something about it being cultural. To you, I say: “Rude is rude.” Looking for reasons for rudeness is a waste of time and money. Rudeness does not make the world go around.
Whereas this actually happened to me. I was out on the street and two elderly ladies asked for directions: “Where is Robson Street?” This is usually a mistake as I do not know where I am most of the time. But Ali had given me directions to London Drugs which is on Robson Street. Therefore, I was very helpful. One of the woman said to me: “You are so kind!” I thought briefly and said: “It is because I am treated so kindly at the Trump International Hotel and that makes it possible for me to be kind to others.”This is an essential truth and if the whole world learned this it would be a better place to live. So there!
I am again writing this from the lobby and now Triple C. has another task assigned to his job description. He is my personal thesaurus. How did i ever get by without him?
But back to rudeness. Despite what I said two paragraphs ago I began to look for the cause
of rudeness amongst the Chinese. Uncannily, I found an answer and in the strangest place; my room in the Trump International Hotel. A woman, C. was cleaning my room and we fell into conversation. She is Chinese. We discussed child rearing practices and she said that children are never praised. They are criticized by their parents with the thought that this will make them better persons. Behind the child’s back they are praised and lauded but not to their face. This does not make for polite, kind-hearted adults. Then to make matters worse there is fierce completion in their peer groups beginning in pre-school and lasting forever. One can see the results of this. There is this aura of always trying to impress usually in an ostentatious manner: clothes, shoes, cars and ripped jeans. An example of this is pictured. It is apparently a Lamborghini and costs a half a million dollars (Canadian). The young man driving it looked in his twenties was dressed in ripped jeans. Honest.
But later, a conversation in London Drugs revealed another cause of rudeness. The sheer numbers and the crowded conditions in China lead to rudeness because one is always fighting – for a seat in the subway, to cross the street, for a place to live, and every thing is push and shove, push and shove. That made sense to me from my experience living in London. The enormous population with few, if any, oases of tranquility.
But enough of rudeness. Two encounters in Mott 32 Restaurant.
Managerial Man (hereinafter M.M): I appreciate you, Ms. McBride
Me: I appreciate you more than you appreciate me.
M.M. I do not think that is possible.
Me: Jay, please get me a pen so I can write this down
Robert the Sommelier: Ms. McBride, you had the salmon when you ate here before and you liked it. You paired the Lohr chilled red with it. It was the second time you dined with us.
Me: I am really impressed. Hundreds of people eat here and you remembered that. You are amazing.
Robert: Hundreds of people perhaps but not hundreds of people like you.
Me: Jay, please get me a pen so I can write this down.
But I am having a bad effect on the male staff members. They are aging themselves in order to be age appropriate. There is the seventy-three and a half year old (who is really 26). His ranks are being joined by a stunningly handsome French man.
Me: How old are you?
Me Laughing: No you aren’t!