For some reason though, I wasn’t offended by it at all. I think it was the way that she said it. She had the biggest smile on her face. I’ll admit it I was a little shocked at first, but not angry or anything. It wasn’t that I didn’t identify with being Chinese, it was more because it seemed like she identified with it.
“Back in da’ day, my daddy was in Vietne’m and he was bad. Ya’ know, foolin’ around; hahaha.. yea, yeah.. so my sist’ah, she’s a chink too”. At this point, I was wondering if chink was a catch-all that also applied to Southeast Asians. I had originally thought it was strictly a term used to described the Chinese and the few Korean-Americans that lived in Brooklyn and were mistaken to be Chinese. I decided not to discuss this with her.
With a toothless grin, she handed to me my sandwich. She offered me a bag; It was a ritual that we did: I politely declined, thanked her and went on my way. She had always given me double servings of meat. I hate it because it makes my sandwich fall apart but how could I say no? She had won me over and made a difference in my life.