26 August 2007

Boys Drive Trucks

This morning at La Madeline, our usual weekend breakfast dive, Trinh & I watched in bemusement as someone driving a truck took at least five attempts to park in a (relatively large) spot with only one other car bordering.

[Note here that I'm paraphrasing -- and since I'm also a fisherman, that no doubt means I'm embellishing as well. Thing is, our conversations take place in an odd mix of English and Vietnamese, baby speak and geezerese, and frankly, I tend to grasp the meaning and pay little attention to the actual words used. I do, however, have scruples...so I'm not making this stuff up outright. The punchlines are accurate in meaning, even if they're not verbatim.]

[Note also that because I'm paraphrasing, the sentences appear to be generally grammatically correct. Clarification: if we're speaking English, my sentences actually are grammatically correct -- and Trinh's probably are not. She'll get there, I'm not worried. If we're speaking Vietnamese, her grammar and tones probably *are* correct, and mine almost certainly are not. I may never become as fluent as she is now. I'm not sure if I should be proud or depressed.]

I said something like, "Wow. That person doesn't know how to drive." Trinh said something like, "Which person?" I said, "The person driving that truck." Trinh said, "Oh," then went back to eating her eggs.

We talked about something else, then watched the truck again. Because I'm un-politically correct sot with an over-active fascination with common culturally-induced stereotypes, I wondered aloud, "Do you think that's a man or a woman?"

Trinh said, "Who is a man or a woman?" I said, "The person driving that truck."

She said, "Oh. It's a boy. Boys drive trucks. Girls sit in the other seat."

26 months. From whence doth this stuff come?

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