Luckily here in Canada we are a bit more liberal about it all even though particularly in Vancouver which is now somewhere around 40% Oriental there is an underlying racism. Part of it is that rich immigrants are paying huge amounts of money for houses in the city and the locals can no longer afford to buy or rent.

But short of that we are living in a fine multicultural city where we are careful on what we say and how we say it. It is political correctness but PC trains one to be more inclusive. The ones who are not so patient (and they have a good reason for it) are Native Canadians of the aboriginal kind. It seems implausible that Canada will ever cede back the territories where some of the large cities are.

I remember sometime in the early 60s when I was in the car with a fellow classmate from the University of the Americas where I was attending. He was very proud of his Volvo coupe. Somehow we got into the topic of bargaining. I said something like, “I am really good at Jewing down prices.” It was then that I realized that my friend was Jewish. I apologized but it did not make me feel any better. Now I would never use that word.

In Spain green beans are called judías. I suspect why they have that name. Interestingly in Spanish tinta china is India Ink and papel de China is tissue paper. When you want to talk about a place that is very far away in my native Argentina we call that place la Cochinchina which is the 19th century name for Vietnam.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward — Vancouver BC

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:

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