Scene: The foreigner, mab, has just left the market in the bottom floor of her apartment building. For the 150th time this month she has bought tuna fish to make tuna salad for dinner. This is the default thing she fixes whenever she’s tired and hungry because there is no Bush’s Crispy Chicken drive-throughs over here.

Characters: The various guys who work in the market and the customers who were in line behind mab.

****** Begin intro music ******

Guy in line: So, what was wrong with her? She talked funny.

Market guy 1: She’s a foreigner. She lives in this building with her husband.

Guy in line: There’s foreigners in the building? Where are they from?

Market guy 1: They’re from America. And, there’s another couple that is always over here. And someone has a baby.

Guy: What do you mean “someone”?

Market guy 1: Well, sometimes that girl is holding him, but sometimes the other girl is holding him.

Guy: Maybe they share him. I’ve heard foreigners do wierd things like that.

Lady in line behind him: What about babies? Sharing? KIDNAPPING?!?!?!

Market guy 2: No! They wouldn’t kidnap him. The mom is always around.

Lady: You know there’s an underground organ-stealing ring here. They’re stealing kids and selling their organs on the black market.

Market guy 1: Well, it couldn’t be those people. They work here. They teach English and the guy does something in tourism. Plus, they eat a lot of tuna. Kidnappers don’t eat that much tuna.

Market guy 2: Yeah, our boss even special-ordered a case of the light tuna packed in water just for her. No one else buys it. But, because of her, we think we’ll be out of the tuna in two weeks.

Market guy 1: I wonder what they do with all that tuna?

Guy: Maybe they have cats.

Market guy 2: Maybe they feed the neighborhood cats.

Lady: Maybe they feed kidnapped children!!!!!

Guy: Would you forget the kidnapped children? There are no kidnapped children!

Lady: Maybe they kidnap cats!!!!!!

Market guy 1: Why would they kidnap cats? There’s a thousand of them living over there by the dumpsters. No one wants them. That’s crazy-talk. Anyway, your total wil be $3.50.

Guy: Thanks. Have a nice day.

***** end scene ******

Maybe I’m paranoid, but I think that all over the city my presence starts conversations. I can see people in stores waiting until I’ve left before they start the usual questions. Or, sometimes they don’t wait. But remember: curiosity like this isn’t necessarily rude here.

And yes, there are many people convinced there’s an underground organ mafia over here. And many mothers are freaked out and won’t trust anyone anymore.

Now I have to go. It’s lunch time and I don’t know what to fix. I wonder if I still have any tuna…..?

Advertisements