Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Irony

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Irony

Little comfort

Henry was thinking about the place where his dear Ethel was buried. According to him, she “now had a gorgeous view of Lake Washington”. Not to mention that she was “interred with Seattle’s other Chinese notables, like Bruce Lee and his own son, Brandon”. The irony was that “it didn’t matter who your neighbors were”, for “they didn’t talk back”. Such things as a nice view and famous neighbors could interest only alive ones, but it was little comfort. To be dead meant to be “alone forever”.

Kick me

Henry was looking at “the ridiculous button” his father pinned to his shirt and was fighting a wave of irritation. The button read “I am Chinese” and was supposed to protect him from the school bullies or uneducated adults, who might think that he was a Japanese. The irony was in the fact that it didn’t work. The button “I am Chinese” just made the school bullies angrier, for they thought that Henry tried to show that he was better than them, that he was proud not to be American. To pin the button “I am Chinese” was like to pin the button “Kick me”.

Proud to be

Henry comes to Ms. Pettison in order to ask her for a permission to have a look at the findings in the basement of the Panama Hotel. Luckily for him, she thinks that he is Japanese and looks for traces of his relatives. Henry can’t help but wonder what his “ultra-Chinese” parents would say if they knew that their son would pretend to be Japanese one day. Truth to be told, he “hated being called a Jap at school”. But life is ironic and now he is ready to sing the anthem of Japan just to get the permission.

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