Oh. My. God.

May 14, 2007 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Ever had a revelation about yourself that was so profound you spent the next five or ten minutes muttering to yourself “What the fuck just happened!?!” Well, I had one such moment yesterday in (where else?) Greenpoint.

After walking to the very end of Java street to take some photographs, I headed back towards West Street. When I reached this intersection a couple of particularly nasty Polish bums had parked their (even nastier) bums on an adjacent stoop. They were conversing. When I walked by the tone of their speech changed.

Suspecting that they were hurling Polish epithets at me, I tried to ignore them. Until one of them said:

She doesn’t speak Polish, she is an American.

I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and shot them the finger. What is particularly remarkable about this otherwise banal-seeming event, you ask?

  1. These men were not speaking English.
  2. I understood what they were saying.

Who knew Miss Heather could mowimy her some po Polsku (on top of being quite proficient in the international language of “Fuck You”)? I sure as hell didn’t. Until now.

God help me.

Miss Heather


2 Comments on Oh. My. God.

  1. jukeboxgraduate on Mon, 14th May 2007 9:15 am
  2. This happened to me at the Associated on Manhattan Ave. I was paying for my groceries, and I couldn’t remember if the Associated would let you get cash back. So I asked, and the girl snapped “no” back at me, and then the neighboring cashier said something to the girl which got her flustered, and then defensive, and somehow I realized that the conversation was something like this:
    “what do you mean, no she can’t get cash back? of course she can.”
    “i don’t have enough and i don’t want to try to explain it to her, my english sucks, she’s not polish, what does it matter”
    “that’s stupid, give her the cash”
    “i’m not going to give her the cash”

    i don’t speak polish because my grandmother and grandfather were so proud of their english they would never speak polish. but i swear to you this was the exchange. only once before has something like this in the neighborhood upset me so much.

  3. missheather on Mon, 14th May 2007 9:19 am
  4. The irony is I am of Polish/Lituanian descent, yet the only foreign language I have any command of is Spanish.

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