Thursday, October 1, 2009


I don't know what came over me.

There I was, standing at the entrance to Keene Riverview Elementary school as all the children filed in. I was holding the door open when I saw them.

Two little black-haired girls, about the same height, walking shoulder to shoulder, their heads bent in toward one another. They were talking.

As they got closer, I heard their voices. They were speaking Cantonese.

I took a deep breath and smiled my widest, friendliest smile. "Leigh- ho!" (That's "hello" in Cantonese.)

Their heads jerked up. They stared at me, then they exchanged glances.

"Leigh-ho!" I said again, just to make sure they didn't later think that my speaking Chinese had been a figment of their imaginations ... or a bad dream.

They passed through the door I was holding open and looked with wide eyes at me over their shoulders. I let the door close and walked away, giggling to myself.

So, that was me, reduced to mischief-making in Smalltown, USA. Reduced to startling two first grade girls who probably wondered why this big American woman was speaking to them in Cantonese.

Oh, the weird things you do for fun when you're candy corn.

1 comment:

  1. I did that to Swedish students at PLU who didn't realize that I also was from Sweden because I didn't hang out with the all-Scandinavian crowd all the time.