Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Why my mom is the awesomest person I know

My mother works for the State Department, doing passport security and immigration type work. She was recently talking to some American business owners who were trying to get work visas for a bunch of Chinese workers they wanted to hire. They were complaining to her about the fact that sometimes there is a wait in the consular section at the American Embassy in China.

"We've heard some people have to wait up to two hours in the consular section. It's demeaning!"

She replied, "is it really any more demeaning than being told by your government how many children you can have, or what you can think, or where you can live, or what political party you can belong to? More demeaning than that?"

That's like one of those comebacks you think of an hour after the opportunity to say it has passed, and then you kick yourself for the rest of the day for not having thought of it sooner. Given the time, you can think of the best zinger in the world, but rare is the occasion when the inspiration and opportunity to deliver it coincide. My respect for her, which has always been considerable, is now in orbit.

Also, if the Chinese consider waiting for two hours to be an extraordinarily demeaning experience, then the DMV in China must be a magical, wonderful place.

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