NY Subway Scene # 2

I really think that if I sat in the subway all day with a notebook and pencil, I could get enough material to write a series of books. Definitely comics. I guess I would just need both talents: writing and drawing to make a successful living out of it. It could be my 9 to 5, I suppose. I don’t think I would ever get bored of watching the people around me.

This takes me to my new subway story.

For some reason or another, yesterday happened to be the day when all Dominican men I met were fascinated by my hijab. In the morning, on the way to Columbus Circle with my girlfriend, I sat on the subway across three Dominican men. One was about my age, one was his father, the third was a friend who was about 50 y/o.  The conversation went something like this. (For readers’ ease, I will translate the conversation to English as much as possible)

Some: Look, she is all tapada (Spanish for “covered up).

Father: Si! Those Muslim women cover up everything.

Son: But, how can it be! Why would they cover?

Father: They cover completitas! They cover so the men can’t see their bodies.

Son: No joda! Spanish expression for “Don’t mess with me!”

Father: They cover their hair, and even walk around in burkas and everything!…but they’re OK. They don’t look that bad. They’re alright.

Son: Yea, better than being naked I suppose.

At this point, I decided to look at the son and smile politely. I looked over at my friend while he was still staring at me and said to her, “ellos se piensan que no entiendo espanol” (Spanish for: They think I don’t understand Spanish). My friend, not understanding any Spanish just nodded with confusion. The son looks at his father and says “la muy cabrona entiende todo!” (Spanish for: The little bastard understands everything). The three men looked at me with embarrassment and laughed. If my girlfriend’s parents weren’t with us, I might have just started a conversation in Spanish with them.

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5 thoughts on “NY Subway Scene # 2

  1. Salaams brother! I really think we can learn about Allah from others (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) if we just open our eyes and ears to the things around us.

    Thanks for visiting my page.

  2. Oh, by the way, your blog is super cool. I like to read other American Muslims’ spin on issues that pertain to us, and you are doing a fine job on your own blog!

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