Monday, May 13, 2013

Little altercations

Here's a story I'd planned to blog about when it happened, but I never got around to it.

Several weeks ago I took a taxi in to work on a fine Monday morning, one of the first beautiful ones of the spring. The cabbie was in a good mood, and we spent the ride chatting away about the weather, traffic, recent changes in Dalian, etc. 

As we approached my destination, the driver finally got around to asking me what country I'm from. I told him America, and his demeanor completely changed. He suddenly started using some words I don't know. (I mean that literally, not being coy: I don't know the swear words in Chinese.) He shouted something to the effect of "You bastards are the ones protecting the F*ing Japanese! Get the hell out of my car!"

Well, as it happened it was time for me to do that anyway, but as I handed him my money I took the time to point out to him that it's the US *government*, not the people, backing the Japanese government. I don't give a jot whether the islands end up in China's hands or Japan's.

My argument didn't mollify him very much. As he took my money and drove off, he was still insisting that China should kill both Japan and the US.

I know that anti-Americanism is rising here because of the tussle with Japan, but I seldom see it reach that feverish level. I don't think it's quite time to invest in a Canadian flag lapel pin, but that time could come very quickly if the conflict ever goes "kinetic," as the military guys say.

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