Monday, September 27, 2004

Different FedEx Guy...

... who delivered my spare Powerbook battery this afternoon, the last item on my Apple order. I guess there's an afternoon guy and a morning guy. No flirtin' with this one. I'll tell you why later.

ADDENDUM (for Muckdog et al):

The second FedEx guy was, I'm guessing, Filipino. I can spot 'em a mile away. (If he's not Filipino, I'll eat my, er, proverbial shorts.)

I have nothing against the Filipino guys, but there's this curious phenomenon in Filipino culture whereby familial ties are not kept track of and thus everyone is considered potential "family"... for example, the titles people are given such as granny or uncle are based on people's ages, not specific kinship. Families who are close but not actually related will appear no less related than true blood relations to the average observer. What this means for the young people is that often for the second- or third-generation Filipino whose family has immigrated to a Western country where family ties are treated more specifically, actually meeting another Filipino is like meeting family. They remind you of your family to such an extent that it kills any possible attraction to this person. It would be like dating your cousin.

Technically, I'm an immigrant myself, but I arrived in Canada before I was three years old. I'm Filipino-born, but Canadian-bred. I have little to zero contact with Filipinos outside of my immediate family. This is not intentional, I just don't seem to frequent their stomping grounds -- I live in the city in an apartment, not a house in the 'burbs. I'm not in nursing, or any capacity relating to care (sounds like I don't care, but you know what I mean...). I'm isolated from cultural contact such as Filipino groups or associations. Cultural contact would have to be pursued on my part if I want it to develop.

The last time I saw a large gathering of Filipinos was at a festival in the park in front of the MoMA in San Francisco two years ago, on Labour Day weekend. Before that, I couldn't even tell you. When I see a Filipino, I always wonder where s/he is from, how long s/he's been here, etc. I'm curious, but my curiosity is not based on the individual, it's culturally-motivated. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. A Filipina with a similar background to mine said to me, "it feels incestuous to have a crush on a Filipino guy..." I agree, but it's also strange: what other cultures exhibit this phenomenon? I've never heard a Czech person say, "oh she's cute, but she reminds me of my sister."

This second FedEx guy didn't remind me of either of my brothers or any of my cousins, but I couldn't view him in any context other than "the Filipino FedEx guy"...