Sunday, September 28, 2008
Next year in the Holy Land...!
I recently went ahead and invested in something I've wanted for YEARS...a digital voice recorder. I've brought it to work a few times, and the other day, I recorded a long conversation we had on our way out to the field. I now share it with you, since its typical of Shadi and so many of the conversations we have in the van. Almost every single day, this subject of America's inferiority to Shadi's home country of Israel is brought up.
Please excuse the vulgarities...Fremont Kirby business is certainly no Rexburg, Idaho. I've edited as best I could, while attempting to still remain true to the meter and tone of the conversation. The speakers: myself, Shadi (Israel), JP (Token Latin Man - Nicaragua/Peru), CJ (Token Black Man). Also note the use of the word "hella" in this conversation. It's a swearword specific to the San Francisco Bay Area, and is used to mean "lots" or "many" or "very." (The coolest thing is that Mormons say "hecka.")
SHADI: (yelling in Arabic) It cost one, two, three, four dollars. Robbery! This America! Robbery!
LIZ: Opportunity, Shadi.
SHADI: What the f**k is this? Opportunity? They take my money away! I do good, and they take it away. Robbery. America. Welcome to America. They give you in one hand, they take in both.
CJ: Means you gotta work harder.
CJ: Means you gotta work harder.
CJ: Right? Right?
SHADI: I been here for ten years. Wasting my time.
LIZ: Getting married, having kids? Waste of time. [Shadi's wife, Stacey, who works in the Kirby office in Fremont, is 13 weeks pregnant with Shadi's first child.]
JP: In America? Lot of money.
SHADI: Don’t make s**t. They take it away.
JP: Land of opportunity. Lot of money.
SHADI: THEY TAKE IT AWAY! F*****g fifteen-hundred dollar rent! What the f**k is that?!
JP: Everyone pays rent, fool.
SHADI: How much people they get paid? From regular job? Fifteen-hundred! How much the rent? Fifteen-hundred! So?
JP: That’s why we drug deal over here.
SHADI: How they f*****g live?
JP: We sell crack cocaine.
SHADI: You all are lucky you are in Kirby business. All—whatever I did in America, I make a lot of money. Whatever.
LIZ: See? Opportunity!
SHADI: BUT THEY TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU! I’m talking about f*****g… (mumbling in Arabic)
JP: You could live in my apartment, the rent’s cheaper. But you don’t want to, that’s not my problem, that’s your problem.
SHADI: I don’t live in garbage areas. In this garbage district. How much you pay? How much you pay?
SHADI: Ghetto houses! F*****g eleven-fifty!
CJ: You’re always hella mad about everything.
SHADI: You go to my country, eleven-fifty? Eleven-fifty, you buy a mansion.
CJ: No one cares.
SHADI: You live in a mansion. Goddammit. (points to helicopter) Look. See, they recording whatever I’m saying. To send me back home. That what they think, but they do me favor. Yeah yeah yeah, get closer to me! Yeah, get closer! Yeah! Come on!
SHADI: F*****g I used to — Oh my god. I was back home making tons of money. What the f**k I came here for?
JP: For the women.
SHADI: For the women?
JP: Women! We have all kinds! All kinds of women!
SHADI: Back home we have more women than here.
JP: No, not really. NOT. N-O-T really.
SHADI: Goddam you all.
JP: There, there’s just them Persian kind of women. Here, you get to choose, you know what I mean?
SHADI: YOU DON’T BELIEVE!
JP: You know what I’m talking about, Liz!?
LIZ: Boys! Boys…
JP: Nah, what do you think, we’re doing it to ourselves? Think we’re messing with other boys? No? Exactly.
SHADI: You see? You see? I used to go out with Russian girl. She used to be a model.
LIZ: Russians are stupid.
JP: And she probably had no body.
SHADI: Excuse me!?
JP: Men like you don’t know what shape is—
SHADI: You don’t know f*****g sh*t!
JP: You’ve never been with a real woman, with real shape.
SHADI: You don’t know sh*t!
JP: Real shape.
SHADI: You don’t know sh*t!
JP: Real shape. With a big beautiful ass.
SHADI: You don’t know sh*t! You don’t know sh*t.
JP: That’s shape. Ain’t no f*****g teeny little b**ch. (to Liz) Excuse our language. I feel bad, you’re like a Mom. I feel weird.
SHADI: Russian model. What her name…Maria. Marina.
JP: See, she wasn’t even that good, you forgot her name.
CJ: What we ain’t got that you got? We ain’t got no f*****g soccer in America.
SHADI: Because you SUCK in soccer! That’s why! Home, the whole f*****g country is soccer soccer soccer!
JP: You get beat. Spain, Brazil…
LIZ: All the South American countries. Germany.
JP: Germany sh*t all over you.
SHADI: Yes, yes! It’s okay, but Americans…
JP: We have to let you win some things.
CJ: You guys are soft. That’s why we got football and you guys don’t.
JP: Yeah, we’re tough, man.
CJ: It’s ‘cause you guys are soft. You guys don’t got football. Shadi, you got football? Over there?
SHADI: We don’t have football. We don’t have that.
JP: You don’t have the athletes.
CJ: You got every other f*****g sport. You got baseball? The great American sport?
SHADI: We have this there.
JP: Not really.
SHADI: We have baseball. F**k you.
JP: You have softball.
SHADI: We have baseball, softball—
JP: Softball for men.
SHADI: We have baseball. And they beat America.
CJ: There be no way in hell.
JP: Never in your life.
CJ: It’s a white man’s sport.
SHADI: You have Dead Sea? In America?
JP: Yeah, in the mall, fool.
CJ: The what?
SHADI: THE DEAD F*****G SEA!
JP: Yeah, that sea spa sh*t. That’s in the mall. That sh*t works, man.
SHADI: You have the Dead Sea, in America?
CJ: What is the Dead Sea, man?
SHADI: THE F**K! HE DON’T EVEN KNOW F*****G WHAT THE DEAD SEA! [Shadi's English grammar gets worse, the more worked up he gets...]
JP: F**k, they sell it over here. In the mall. That sh*t works, man. Rub it in your hands, it makes your hands hella smooth…
SHADI: I have it at home.
LIZ: The Dead Sea?
SHADI: The Dead Sea, man, you go—like a beach, okay? But its all salty.
JP: Hella salty.
SHADI: You can’t put your face inside.
JP: Hell no.
SHADI: It’s like a beach, right? Big. Huge.
JP: Nothing lives there.
SHADI: No fish. They can’t live there. You go, and just lay down on the beach, no? Lay down, take uh…newspaper or book and just read and you never go.
CJ: Who the f**k wants to do that?!
JP: Exactly. Why you go to the beach, to lay down? Go to a park. Why the hell you gonna go to the beach and lay down?
SHADI: It’s f*****g beach!
JP: You can’t go in the f*****g water! Who cares? It’s like going to the beach here in San Francisco, you can’t go in the water, it’s too damn cold. Same sh*t, same principle. That’s why your country sucks.
SHADI: You have, uh...
JP: I love my country.
SHADI: You have sharks?
SHADI: We don’t. HA HA HA HA HA! See?!
CJ: Listen to this mother-f****r going on about a f*****g shark. How many f*****g deaths a year due to sharks? More people die from like falling and sh*t.
LIZ: You’re more likely to be killed by a cow than a shark.
LIZ: That’s true, that’s a true statistic.
CJ: By a cow or by like a falling…anvil.
SHADI: You have….what you want? You have black and white TV’s?
CJ: Who the f**k wants a black and white TV?
SHADI: You don’t, right?
SHADI: We do.
CJ: Who the f**k's gonna be buying black and white TV’s?
JP: Like 25 years ago…
SHADI: Twenty dollar.
SHADI: I wish the immigration come to take me away, and deport me. I WISH.
CJ: Shadi, they can’t deport you.
SHADI: I wish the el migras—la migras come and take me away.
LIZ: Why don’t you just go yourself?
SHADI: No, I can’t.
LIZ: Why do you have to wait to be kicked out?
CJ: No, he wanna go for free.
SHADI: Exactly. Two-thousand f*****g dollar ticket.
CJ: What about Stacey? They not gonna take her, so what she gonna do?
SHADI: That’s why I want them to f*****g deport me!
CJ: You don’t want your wife to go with you?
SHADI: It’s not my fault! Not my fault. Stacey, not my fault. But the f*****g problem—they can’t f*****g take me. They can’t. I am legal here. Goddammit. I go to Bush…you take me? You send me home? What, what should I do to get them to send me home?
JP: Nothing. You’re an American citizen.
LIZ: Yeah, you’re an American citizen, you can’t do anything.
JP: You can go to jail.
CJ: They just take your ass to jail. You could just kill yourself. You don’t got to worry about being in America no more. Or alive, for that matter.
SHADI: Here, waiting for f*****g…
CJ: Why you always gotta be cussing? And yelling?
SHADI: This is American f*****g way!
CJ: Liz from America, you see her doing that? And this is not how Americans drive. You made this sh*t hella difficult.