There's a nasty little dim sum restaurant just a quick hop and skip from my front door. It is run by an evil-looking Chinese woman, who speaks no English and shows an apparent contempt for Gweilos.
I speak no Canto at all, but it's not hard to figure out that the shouting that follows my every take-away order is about me. I'm guessing it's something like:
-That big freak is in here again. Just look at her, her feet are enormous. And what's with the dim sum order at 9.30pm? No one eats dim sum at night. Those Gweilos are so bloody stupid.
In the beginning, I stood idly by as this abuse was going on. The last few weeks though I have been shouting back in the spirit of:
-Yeah, yeah! I know you're talking about me, just get me my order. Come on, hurry up!
This morning, as I popped in to get some early lunch, I was surprised to see the place full of Gweilos. My evil Chinese woman was standing in the corner looking miserable. That was until she saw me. A great big smile spread across her face. From the other side of the room, and in perfect English, she shouted:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!