The Southern Expat Communique: New York observations of a displaced belle


ko-mee-chee-woooooo
30 March 10, 12:58 pm
Filed under: subway | Tags: , , , , ,

Well, I think the midwest (or Oklahoma, I’m not sure which), has us beat, Southerners…at least this morning. 

On this very rainy morning, I hopped on the train and headed uptown with the rest of the soggy masses.  There was even less talking, soliciting, and music making activity than usual. 

At the 42nd Street stop, a very loud family entered the train close to where I was seated, unfortunately.  The very smiley couple sat and looked at their surroundings as though they had never entered such a vessel before.   The mom had a big Aqua Net helmet, and the dad proudly displayed a Nazarene University ball cap.  Kids (3) were dressed appropriately as kids. 

Mom begins by greeting the car with a billowing “well, hello, New York!”  It caught me off guard, and I mistook her for a beggar, announcing to the car that he had a story to share, as often happens.  I was mistaken.  The woman then turns to the Asian man sitting next to her, touches him on the arm, and says very slowly, very loudly “ko-mee-chee-wooo.”  Now, I suppose she was trying to say “konnichiwa,” and I suppose she was just doing what seemed friendly, but I also suppose she determined that was not enough.  She then asked her family members, “can you all say ‘ko-mee-chee-woo’ to the nice gentleman?”  All of them, responding in kind, greeted the man who looked more Korean than Japanese with a rousing “ko-mee-chee-woo!”  This awkward chorus resounded (in unison) about 4 times before I left the train. 

The poor man was probably subjected to more malapropisms and corresponding sympathetic looks before his stop.  I’m happy to say I left the train unscathed.  I’m also happy to report there was no southern drawl in her voice.  It may be a small victory, or not a victory at all, for my native land not to count her as one of our own.  I am always glad to learn there are other regional groups that make asses of themselves. 

In other news, it looks like NYC will break its March rainfall record in the next 36 hours.  The entire city looks like the Hendrix campus after 3 inches of rain.  I have to remember this is an island, after all.  http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/nyc_to_set_record_rainfall_totals_NpwXR0NRIVlFcobkioEpTL

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