Lunch in the cafeteria always had deep impressions on me; once I met a boy on the very first day of school in San Francisco Sunset District. His name was Hi. The idea of his name made me giggle just like a school girl. Hi, was the one and the only word I knew how to say and understood, having just immigrated to the US. At times on the streets kind strangers would greet me, and like a pro, I would shout back “Hi!” thinking I was some beauty queen. Despite the fact that I didn’t know the language, I would greet my new found friends. One day an older gentleman and I had a full on conversation, but because I had no idea what he was saying at the time I’d imagine it went something like this…
“Hi” guy who looked like he sang the blues
“How are you doing on this foggy summer day?” guy who looked like he sang the blues
“Okay, mommy-o, I feel you” guy who looked like he sang the blues
“Alright now, you go on and have a blessed day” guy who looked like he sang the blues
The boy named Hi, and I also had full on conversation, and it went something like this…
“what your name” me
“Yes, Hi, I know that already, but what is you name” this all spelled out for him in Korean of course. He looked at me quizzically, pointing to himself “Hi”, I start to chuckle thinking this dumb dumb is stupider than I am. I shook my head furiously side by side, and this time in English “You Name!?” and now he’s almost shouting “Hi- my name Hi!”.
This went on for a bit as you can imagine both of us being from third world countries. Looking back at it now, we couldn’t be further apart standing so close to one another.