I get tension from people in different ways when it comes to my asking them for ID as they enter the bar. This particular time I had a strange experience with a gentleman regarding his status here in the country.
This man comes in, sometime after 1am on Sunday morning. If I was to guess he was Mexican. As he approaches me, I ask him for his ID. As he reaches for his passport I can literally see the defensive wall being built. The first thing he says is "I'm on vacation", I answer "Ok, welcome." And he hesitates to show me his passport. I'm thinking that maybe its not his and he's stalling. Then he says "Its my first time in New York". I just nod and look at his passport. I see that he was born in 1985 and that it was him in the picture. I notice that he Mexican and that his English is pretty good but he keeps carping and complaining that I had asked him for his ID. Mike and I figure maybe its because he's had a few drinks.
A few minutes later a friend of his comes in and as I'm asking him for his ID, the tense feller says "He's with me", to which I answer "Ok, I still need to see his ID". The second guy shows me it without any issues but the first guy is starting to get pretty aggro. I decide to take a different tact by talking to him in Spanish. He refuses to acknowledge my Spanish and continues to bitch and moan in English. Again I talk to him in Spanish and say the following:
I notice that you are feeling some tension here with my asking you for your ID. I don't care if you are here on vacation, here legally or illegally. The only reason that I ask for your ID is that I have to make sure you are of legal drinking age.Most, if not all bars he'll go into will ask for ID as a proof for age. It has nothing to do with anything else.
I see that he finally gets my message. He says to me in Spanish that this his first time in New York and that he didn't know. He pologized by offering to buy me a drink which I politely refused.
I guess the stress that is being applied to immigrants and foreigners in this country are starting to be felt here in New York. I wonder how often I'm going to have to deal with this in the near future. Guess time will tell.
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