Don't I look Jewish?

I was on my way to a theatre lab in NYC last night and walked by bhphotovideo  and decided to make a pilgrimage. I’ve only bought stuff from them online. They really are the standard in video and photo gear. 

I knew that orthodox Jews ran the store because their online store closes on Shabbes (I’d love to have heard the first visit to a Rabbi to figure out what to do with the Net).It was cool to be in a store where so many people are Jewish (and “out” 🙂

I grew up in the last shtetl, a community of about 40 Jews in Niagara Falls Canada.When I used the word schmutz (dirt) with one man there and “if it’s beshert, it’s beshert” (meant to be) with another, they looked at me stunned, like I was speaking in secret code and said, “how do you know that?”

There’s a certain feeling in using these Yiddish words and phrases. They’re fun. They have a flavour English doesn’t. They’re familiar and familial to me.

The surprise of these men and my comfort in kibbitzing with them reminded me of how much I had to forcibly censor myself and my actions (those flailing hands!) when I went to grade school.

“I’m Jewish,” I said. “Can’t you tell?”

They could, only once I outed myself.

How do I read on your Jewdar?