‘Don’t be stupid’ (‘바보같이 굴지 마’)

By | 22 May 2011

I looked at his darkening profile, So, you are Korean?
No, Chinese, he said
If he were the black guy last night
I’d keep talking about Kenya and Obama
How his dad used to be working in the bank whose governor
Is now the president
Or if he were the Pakistani on my way back a few hours later
From the party where Nathan’s mouth constantly returned
To oneness, a line, or a cut
I’d probably ask the question I didn’t end up asking:
Why you look so white and like one of the hip hop guys in America?
Or if he were the white guy we’d probably plunge along the line
Of cities when he said, Oh, I wouldn’t live in Melbourne or Sydney
Not if you pay me! Here in Canberra
You’d have to learn how to
Entertain yourself
Since he’s ‘Chinese’ our conversation naturally drifted to houses
Till we came to a stop at Novotel where I had to go upstairs
To pick my luggage and come back
Frightened, I said, Would you wait for me here or?
‘Don’t be stupid,’ he said
I found myself explaining what happened in my trip to Dunedin
The cab guy drove me to the hotel but disappeared without even waiting
For the fare as I broke into a cold sweat congratulating myself
For having pulled my luggage out of the boot
He smiled his ‘Don’t be stupid’ smile as he listened
And when I came back with my three pieces
He’s still there
Afterwards when we went to the airport
He said, I still keep my Hong Kong
Passport even though I’m Australian
Citizen, you never know
You know

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