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Jun. 11th, 2008 | 09:23 pm
posted by: gaudysalamander in antipinkerton

Name: Hari mirchi, or B
Gender: F
Age: 26
Ethnicity: Pakistani-American
Location: greater DC area
Occupation: Engineer
How did you find us?: dot_race_snark

Any pinkerton moments/experiences you'd like to share?:
Oh God, I lived in Japan for a year, working for a company where 1/4 of the employees were male gaijin engineers.  The stories I could tell!

Hands down best story though happened to me, shockingly, since fat English-speaking women aren't very much in demand in Japan.  I'm not sure if it really counts as a true Pinkerton moment, since I'm South Asian, not East Asian, but the racial fetishization and eroticization was there.

Summer of 2003, I'm hanging with my date at the only bar in Nara that has an English menu. Boorish English dude rolls up on us and starts in with "Wow, you don't look like you're from around here." He proceeds to tell me I look so much more exotic than the Japanese girls (well, no shit sherlock, if you're surrounded by sixty million of them, you eventually get used to OMG *gasp* seeing women who aren't white) or the American/English/Australian English teachers, and this was the first and only time in my life I've righteously  claimed my American citizenship, because dude, American women come in colors other than white. He asks if I'm Greek. Or Italian, since I have such lovely brown eyes. Or Mexican, since my skin is more bronze-y than olive.  Or, well, you get the picture. And the whole time, he acted as though he thought he was giving me compliments and I should be flattered.  

Eventually my date gets annoyed and tells him I'm Pakistani. "You mean, Indian, right love?"  No thanks to the British, that.  He asks if I bellydance, if I wear those "gorgeous exotic silks" blah blah.  Eventually he realizes that I am not down with his game and he goes on to tell me that I should be thanking him because his people "civilized" my people, gave us the civil service, trains, education, literacy (!  Mahabharata anyone?), and best of all, dentistry(!?).  Throughout the whole thing, he's made some choice comments about how I must have a taste for ethnic experimentation, since my date was a Black American, and asked if I'd ever bedded a white man before(!!). It all ended with me throwing my drink in his face and slapping him, hard.

But it gets better! A year later I had graduated college, and was back in Japan. And I found myself back in the same bar, with the same guy (as friends, not dating, this time).  And the same boorish English asshole rolls up on us, and starts in with the exact same line he used last time "Wow, you look so exotic. Let me guess where you're from."  At which point my friend and I just start cracking up and left.

Comments {15}

Gaudy Salamander

From: gaudysalamander
Date: Jun. 12th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)

I know! Are the British, like, known for the excellent quality of their teeth?

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