Addendum: Online gaming and Chinese Restaurants
I was going to try to make this into a full story, but there wasn’t a lot of substance behind it and I decided that it would be more well-suited as a caveat to the story I just told. This is going to sound racist as fuck, but I promise you it’s not. This is just a trend I have noticed from my experiences as your humble driver. I have picked up groups of Asian teenagers five times in my journeys. The first I just described to you, but the rest were all strikingly similar and occurred in three different cities. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. The other four times either the drop off or pick up locations have all been Asian restaurants. It’s never been the same groups of people, but there’s always four of them. Twice the drop off location was the same neighborhood, but not the same eatery or passengers. They are always silent, staring at their phones. On one of these trips I decided to test the whole “no talking” concept.
I had picked up a group of four Asian teenagers from a local diner. They sat in the car silently and I noticed that the neighborhood I was going to I had been before. They didn’t speak the entire time and would occasionally all start laughing simultaneously. This is promising. I get the attention of the guy sitting shotgun and ask what game he’s playing. I didn’t recognize the name nor did I actually care.
But I did notice on his phone that he was sending a bunch of messages. I would have read them, but I’m too American for my own good and never bothered to learn any other languages. Then things got worse…or better.
Me: “What game is that?”
Gamer: “[insert random name of game here]”
Me: “Ah.” Like I fucking know what he’s talking about. Are you all playing it?
Me: “Together? Like on the same team or at the same time, same world or something.”
Gamer: “Yeah. We are on the same team, working together.”
Me: “And you can send messages to the whole community on there?”
Gamer: “No, just to your team.”
Me: “How many people are on your team?”
Gamer: “Just us four.”
Me: “So you’re sending messages to them in the back seat?”
Me: “Wouldn’t it be easier and quicker to just turn around and tell them?”
Then, I witnessed a miracle. They all looked up from their phones! They cast each other a glance before stopping and staring at me. You would have thought that I just told them that I killed their puppy, fucked their moms and Santa wasn’t real all in one sentence. Then they returned to their phones and the rest of the trip was completely silent.