One of the unexpected perks of living in Houston is how friendly everyone is. My young cashier and I exchanged the usual pleasantries as she was ringing up my stuff at the grocery store today. Blah blah blah, she asked if I was enjoying the rain, I said it rained a lot here and that I was still getting used to it since I just moved here. She asked where I moved from, I told her Virginia.
Then she asked me where I was from, originally. Occasionally I get questions like this (but not in a long time, come to think of it), no biggie (though I was a little surprised since Houston is such an international city). Anyway, the convo went like this:
Her – So where are you from… originally?
Me – I’m Chinese.
Her – So, were you born in Japan?
Me – Umm, no, China. Well, I was born here in the United States, but my parents were born in China.
Her – Oh, you were born here so you are not Chinese.
Me – Umm, no, I am Chinese, since that is my heritage. But I’ve just never lived there
(Bagger, who is an older man, jumps into convo)
Him – The Chinese are smart people. Are you smart?
Me – Ummmm, I like to think so, but not sure.
Him – I bet you are smart.
Me – Oh, um, thanks… (and then I scooted out as fast as I could)
It was just a very, very odd interchange.