Big Lobsters

At the end of the two-day trip we had in Boston, the Chinese tour guide hinted to us to give her excellent feedbacks. "We receive nothing (no salary) when feedbacks are bad, so please," she said, her English with the staccato of Mandarin, "if you can rate me as excellent, I'd love that." The entire trip, her last syllables were swallowed up: deep-sea fishes become tipsy fishes. We didn't understand any of her Bunker Hill history. Most of us in the bus are non-White: Vietnamese, Indian, Thai and we were wide-eyed with the cold. The lavatory at the bus was dysfunctional, and smelled very bad. At a certain stop was a bus with an all-white population. Most of them looked Germans, for some reason. This is America, I thought, the itinerary a laundry list of parks, Ivy-league schools, and exquisite summer houses and Rhode Island mansions.