Friday, February 24, 2006

The P-Word

I just wasn’t searching for Slick Rick during my scant time in London town.

I also learned some of the local customs.

For example, pants aren’t pants---pants are underwear. Trousers are pants. When I kept on referring to what the British know as trousers as my pants, boy were people ever confused.

The looks were priceless.

By the way, I’m a heathen because I like my beer cold.

Cold---not cool. Ale, lager, bitters---it makes me no never mind. Just chill that bad boy down and put it in a frosted mug if you please.

Pissed does not equal mad but drunk.

Giving a backwards “peace” sign is the British equivalent of flipping the bird. Apparently popular American rappers would not do well in this culture.

But the most important thing I learned is what not to call someone of Pakistani descent. For the love of all that’s holy do not ever in your life refer to a Pakistani as a “Paki.”

Holy shit, you would of thought I had just shot the Queen.

As we sat and drank champagne, Abby and I were having our one and only serious discussion about life and things. Naturally the conversation rolled around to the multi cultural institutions that are now so ingrained in British life.

I told her that someone mentioned to me that I would start to wonder where all the white people had gone.

As she giggled, I stated in a low voice that there sure are a lot of Paki’s in London.

That sure killed the conversation---especially when we were literally surrounded by many people of Pakistani origin.

Well apparently my voice wasn’t too low and the P-word is not something that is said to a person of Pakistani background.

As I got the hairy eyeball, Abby explained that the P-word is the equivalent to the N-word.

I was appalled.

I mean who wants to go over to another country and give offense to fellow people of color? Not me, that’s for sure.

It seems that the large group of Pakistani Brits heard Abby’s explanation, sized me up as a clueless American and went back to their respective conversations.

Don’t we have enough people who don’t like Americans already? I’m sure I don’t need to create yet another international incident.

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