6.07.2006

The Immigrants


I started volunteering at the International Center of NY last August and since then, I've come to know two Koreans, one Japanese, and one West African. Tonight was my last night as a conversation partner. This volunteer work has been, without a doubt, the most inspiring and yet comical of my life.

Take a Korean immigrant who stopped by a Subway sandwich store because he thought that was the entrance to the 6 train.

Or another Korean that asked me if it was appropriate to call a girl his "flavor of the week" after hearing the American Hi-Fi song. My response? Not to her face...

My West African, who arrived in the states not knowing ONE WORD of English, speaks with a vocabulary he picked up on the streets of the Bronx. Favorite prononciations include: brudda, daughtta, and his ever-present "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO, MAN" when I told him something impressive.

My only female immigrant was Kazue, from Japan, and she is pictured above with her stylish handbag that comes from Paris (she brought it tonight to our last meeting to show it to me). My favorite moment with Kazue was when she pulled a credit card application for Banana Republic out of her bag. "Can I ask you some questions about the credit card?"' she asked, "I know you shop there a lot."

Grammar tutor? Prononciation coach? Shopping assistant? I do it all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics. Banana republic is really supportive for me, which sells double zero size! Otherwise I have to get most of my cloths at Gap KIDS.. But good thing is I can use my banana republic card anyway at Gap kids.
K