Monday, October 24, 2005

Car trouble on the Lower East Side

After driving through about 60 one-way streets (thank goodness for the grid system uptown), my friend Dave and I finally reached our destination, a small electronics store on Canal Street between Essex and Ludlow. We had come to pick up his new TV (the same one that Al over at Delino owns) and we needed a parking spot. As luck would have it, I quickly noticed four women and one man outside of a car looking like they were about to get inside. Dave stopped the car and I got out to ask if they were leaving. What happened next was incredible.

The four women were all Chinese and the man was Hispanic. They were trying to get inside the car, but not in the traditional sense. You see, the woman had locked her keys inside and was enlisting the man's help to try to jimmy the lock from outside with a piece of metal shaped like a ruler. He was having little success, so she called me over and asked if I could help. After the idea of getting robbed passed through my head, I agreed to try to break into her car. I struggled for a little bit, thought I almost had it, then failed.

Chinese Woman: "Wait a second are you Jewish?"
Me (laughing): "Well, yeah, you got me."
CW: "Ah, ok, I was trying to get an amigo. Amigos (she means Hispanic people) are really good at breaking into cars. (slightly hushed now) You know they have so much practice and stuff."

Luckily, another parking spot opened up right behind her car and we took it. But in the meantime, I noticed her ask another Hispanic and a black man, both clueless as to her prejudices or how to address her needs. She finally gave up and called a locksmith of sorts (who also tried and failed to jimmy the door with that piece of metal). I also learned once again that Asian people are generally even more racist than other people.

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