Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm a monkey?!

(PICTURE: Huyen's sister eating a stick of sugarcane.)

I hope I can do this blog entry justice because it was definitely a "had to be there" moment. Well, here goes:

I was standing downstairs at Huyen's house when her mom walked up to me and curiously grabbed some strands of my chest hair that was showing under my v-neck shirt. This alone would be funny to me but sadly it has happened a few times to me in Vietnam. What happened next though was classic: Huyen's mom turned to Huyen and Huyen's sister and said something in Vietnamese. Both girls started laughing and then Huyen said, "My mom says you're like a monkey." Naturally I started to laugh but also defended myself by saying, "I'm a monkey? Look at Hoai! She's crouching on the ground, chewing on a stick. She's a monkey." Hoai, Huyen's sister, was at that very moment in the "Vietnamese crouch" chewing on sugarcane (see the picture above). Then it seemed like a chorus of Nguyens yelling out, "No you're a monkey!" I again defended myself by pointing the finger: "I'm a monkey? Your father climbed a tree to fetch fruit the other day! He's a monkey."

Yes, this was the most childish argument I've had since probably elementary school. Forgetting the clearly racist undertones of the conversation, it's just funny to me that Huyen's mother thinks her daughter is dating a less evolved primate.