Being Filipino in America is kind of weird. When I was a little kid growing up in the foothills of the Appalachians, the White folk would scratch their heads trying to decide if whatever I had just claimed to be meant “Chinese”, “Japanese”, or when you really get cosmopolitan, Korean. Other Asians don’t really know what to make of you, either. Do you even count as Asian? A college professor once asked me if I was from Samoa.
For those of you who don’t know anything about the Philippines… Well… I am not really going to use this blog post to either propagate any stereotypes or give you boring information that you could just Google for yourself on, you know, Wikipedia.
This is more a story about Yoshinoya.
For those of you who don’t remember, Yoshinoya was a regular location for the Top 8 Magic podcast in the early years. Back in 2006 or so BDM and I would walk about twenty blocks up from the then-Top 8 Magic offices (near the then-site of Neutral Ground), maybe end a long evening of chatting plus jackhammers and car traffic with a late-nite double dinner at the Times Square Yoshinoya. These days BDM refuses to go there (something about a cockroach the size of the palm of your hand crawling up the wall, and this one time when we got literally gas-attacked by some weirdo with — you know — a gas can). However I never held it against “the Yosh” and continue to eat there, albeit not very often; admittedly.
* Bella recently convinced Clark to have lunch at Yoshinoya by claiming it was a Super Mario Brothers-themed restaurant (it isn’t). He was disappointed at the absence of egg-eating dinosaurs and refused to eat his lunch in protest.
Yoshinoya is ostensibly a Japanese restaurant. They basically serve bowls of rice with some kind of meat (beef or chicken), soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, maybe some pickled ginger. It is also just a restaurant in New York City, which means that in addition to the Japanese staff, there are Hispanic (probably Mexican) people working the counter as well.
Remember when I said I am Filipino?
I don’t know what that means to you, but it might be interesting to think about what it means to one of the two most common kinds of Yoshinoya servers:
- Every time I get a Japanese server, she gives me a fork.
- Every time I get a Mexican one, she gives me chopsticks.
This has been tested to statistical significance.