Saturday, June 02, 2007

drunken illogic

Last night, a few of us met up at Bruno's Bar in the Mission District.

I had the following conversation TWICE in a single night:

Stranger coming up to me: Hi, where are you from?

Me: Originally, I'm from Beijing.

Stranger. Oh. Were you born there?

Me: Yes.

Stranger: So are you chinese?

Occam's razor, people!

Next time, I'm going to say, "No, I'm from the little-known town of Beijing, South Korea."


Omst and I arrived to find Christina in the back of the bar, with a cluster of guys. As soon as we approached, an Asian man with spiky hair left the cluster and struck up a conversation with me.

We chatted. The guy wobbled from drunkenness. He kept giving me high-fives. He told me that he's Korean, and a doctor who splits his time between teaching and research. He seemed distracted. After about ten minutes, the conversation was getting repetitive, and I politely excused myself.

When I returned to my friends:

Omst: Wow, that guy was like a hawk.

Christina: Niniane, why did you spend so long talking to a guy who's getting married tomorrow?

Me: Is he? He didn't mention it to me.

Christina: Yeah, his friend told me.

Me: He's completely drunk. Is this his bachelor party?

Christina: No, they're just having drinks together, after the rehearsal dinner.

Omst: It makes sense that he's drunk. He's getting married tomorrow.

Me: So he should get trashed and go to his own wedding with a hangover?

Omst: He's probably thinking to himself, "Fuck! I'm getting married tomorrow!" And it's not just "Fuck!" ... It's like "Fuck! Shit! Fuck! I'm getting married!"

Me: Sounds great for his bride.


Twenty minutes later, Christina came back to us after chatting with other guys in the group.

Christina: That guy who's getting married has only known his girlfriend for six months. She got pregnant. That's why they're getting married. They just planned it three weeks ago.

Omst: Ahhhh.

Christina: And she's a doctor too! You'd think they would have prevented this.


Clearly, having the groom drink himself into a desperate stupor is somehow better than an abortion.


Todd said...

My guess is that the fellow's question about heritage stems not from drunken illogic, but from hypersensitivity and over-corrective PC. There are, unfortunately, many people in the world who would think the fellow an idiot for assuming that just because someone is born in China they're Chinese; I mean, aren't there Chinese people born in America every day? All this is fine--the problem is with the hypersensitive types who seem to be professionals at being offended, waiting for a similar chance to cry "No, my father is Korean and my mother is a Cambodian diplomat--you studpid assuming racist!"

I know this sounds crazy--but I went to hypersensitive Cornell University, and this happened all the time--I would have called it "Liberal Illogic," which can often be mistaken for a heavy dose of alcohol.

Todd said...

OH, as I came back I see that you're in "the bay area"--yep, that's overcorrective hypersensitive disorder--a common ailment among liberals who are afraid of offending someone too easily, since they are too easily offended.

Anonymous said...


I don't know why you peg all this with political terms. It's just called tact. A good skill to have regardless of your political inclinations.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Maybe they were asking if you had Chinese citizenship.

Jim Miles said...

I think Todd's reasoning is pretty sound.

chlamydomonas said...

People disappoint. Avoid. Or rather, avoid setttings where the convos are little more than stubs for reproductive behaviour or psychological malaise. Try fishing instead. The fish at least seem grateful when they are thrown back.

ArC said...

Geez, it's just (admittedly awkward) conversational flow.

Wenjie said...

if you said 'peking' instead of 'beijing', things could be different. Or Shanghai sounds more familiar for foreigners. I know some French people don't catch Shanghai well, if you don't pronounce 'g'. Of course you know better western people. the real comment is, how do you have so many narrative stories, your life seems to be more on characters.

Mango said...

Chlamydomonas Says..

Try fishing???

Fishing is the word in Thai for female masturbation.

Male masturbation is known as flying the kite.

I find the mental masturbation of this blog very satisfying

Jay said...

You know when those two guys ask you where you are from, their just trying to make conversions and probably a bit nervous. Don’t be so critical of their intelligence, they might be just as smart as you. Think about it, if you are a guy in their position would you have the guts to go up to a girl and strike a conversion knowing you might get dissed …

John K. Lin said...

"Occam's razor, people!" - just too funny. Maybe the guys thought you were a Taiwanese sleeper spy :-)

Anonymous said...

It could be that the author was too sensitive but I doubt it. What I grasped from the story was that it was a white guy that was too stupid to know that Beijing is in China.

Again, Occam's Razor.

How come when people say that "you're too sensitive," I hear "I don't care about your reaction to what I said."

I mean, Southern Christians get all huffy if I ask them if it's true that Jesus as a Jew.