You are all probably wondering about the name of this blog…
well this is the story that started it all
At my first real job in Tennessee… through the busy weekends when check in and check outs were busy times, I was out by the front office doing something called express check out. It had been 4th of July weekend and let me tell you we were all in our festive gear. I was wearing a straw fedora-esque hat and had a red white and blue fake flower lei around my neck.
Now, just for your reference, my name tag had my name and the state that I was from underneath it. So it is not like you could not figure out what state I was from and especially with my “yankee” accent [as my lovely employees enjoyed to say… boy I do miss them].
While doing my express check outs, which basically I would take guests’ room keys and make sure they sign the check out form and wish them a great trip back to whatever state they were from. Well, one car pulls up and I cannot recall where they were from. I greeted them. Ask them if they had a wonderful time.
The wife [and at this resort most of them were of the older demographic] proceeded to look me dead in the face and said
Woman: “Aloha… … …..” [I do not remember the whole phrase, but it was long and the only thing I could comprehend was Aloha]
I looked at her with a puzzled face. She looked at me with wide eyes and I said
Me: “I’m sorry,” in my what did you just try to say to me face.
Woman: “Oh, I said hello good morning and how are you in Hawaiian.”
Me: “oh, well hello, good morning, I am fine, thank you.” In my most polite, most not annoyed tone of voice
Woman: “I thought you were Hawaiian. Sorry.”
Me: “No, I am Korean. Unfortunately we do not understand Hawaiian. And I am from New York.”
Now, please understand I have NOTHING against Hawaiians. I actually know a lot of people who are. What I do NOT understand is why everyone down here, and I say this because I have only experienced this in the southern part of the United States, assume that I am Hawaiian.
My husband also has a theory on this and he believes that it is because I speak English and that is why people assume that I am Hawaiian. Not because I am an American born Korean in the United States of America…
I am automatically Hawaiian because I speak English without an accent.
You would think that this would only happen once…NOPE!