This past St. Patrick’s Day, some friends and I found ourselves at Sushi Hunter, a sushi restaurant with an all-you-can-eat menu near my apartment. We were celebrating both the holiday and my friend Y’s quarterly visit to San Francisco. Our party consisted of E (a Cambridge-educated English boy), J (a Duke-and-Oxford educated white American girl who speaks fluent Chinese), Y (a Harvard public health grad student from China), Y’s boyfriend P (a Taiwanese-American, Berkeley-educated ophthalmologist), and me. All in all, a well-read, nationally diverse bunch.
We argued about archaeology, illicit drug use, and romantic relationships. We were discussing the damaging effects of Chinese parenting techniques when E, who did not know Y very well, asked how she and I knew each other.
“We were born in the same apartment complex in China,” I told him. “Y is literally my first friend.”
“Well, we weren’t actually born in the apartment,” Y clarified. “We had hospitals.”
“Thanks for the explanation,” said E. “Awesome Bitch made it sound like people in your apartment complex were in the habit of giving birth all the time.”
“Absolutely not!” I shuddered in false horror. “We weren’t Mexican.”
It was as if I had announced the sudden death of a family member by dildo. J looked as if she had ingested an entire bottle of sesame oil. P stayed respectfully still. Y remembered to guffaw a few seconds too late.
E finally swallowed, forced a smile, and said, “And thence the Awesome Bitch-isms begin.”
On a less controversial note, I sampled horenso oshitashi (cold spinach with sesame dressing) for the first time, and it was delicious.