Category: Geography

You may call them “lost”, but we prefer the name “geographically disadvantaged.”

They’re Behind The ‘Shall Not Pass’ Signs

| Jewel Cave, SD, USA | Geeks Rule, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

(We are on a group tour through caves, 200-300 feet underground. There are metal stairs and viewing platforms along the path. At each platform, a park ranger will describe what we are seeing, talk about the cave’s exploration history, and answer any questions. One question comes from a young teen girl on the tour. )

Girl: “Are there balrogs in these caves?”

Park Ranger: “Ball rocks?”

Girl: “BAL-rogs, from Lord Of The Rings?”

Park Ranger: “Uh, not that I know of…”

Taiwannical Behavior, Part 2

| Taiwan | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Politics

(I am Caucasian and work in Taiwan. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, even though China claims otherwise. Chinese tourist are notorious for harassing the locals on that issue, but I never had to deal with that personally.)

Customer: *rudely, as she enter the store* “You work here?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Customer: “You live in this city?”

Me: “Yup, for many years now.”

Customer: “Why you choose here and not Beijing?”

Me: *cautiously, as I realize from her accent she is Chinese* “I like the life here.”

Customer: “But Beijing is better! You should come to Beijing instead.”

Me: “Beijing is probably very nice. Maybe I will visit someday.”

Customer: “You better move. This city is no good. Beijing is better.”

Me: “So, may I assume you are from Beijing?”

Customer: *proudly* “Yes, I am!”

Me: “Cool! So we are both foreigners here!”

(She gave me a very black, angry look, then left the store without saying another word.)

Related:
Taiwannical Behavior

Caribbean There, Done That

| London, England, UK | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Geography

(I’m a volunteer lunch-server in a nursing home, but I’ve spent the last month working in the south of France. I’ve picked up a slight tan, but usually my skin is as white as it gets. One lady stares at me oddly as I bring her her food.)

Lady: “Where are you from?”

Me: “From here, ma’am. I live a few roads away.”

Lady: “No, I mean where were you born?”

Me: “Finchley, originally, but I moved—”

Lady: “No, no, no. Where are you from?”

Me: “Uh. London, ma’am. Britain.”

Lady: “And your parents?”

Me: “Also from London.”

Lady: *squints at me* “No, you’re lying. There’s no shame in being Jamaican, you know. You can tell me.”

Me: “I… What?”

French Disconnection, Part 2

| Edinburgh Scotland, UK | Funny Names, Geography

(I’m French but have been working in Scotland for a few years. My accent is not as strong as the typical French one, but most people can guess where I’m from, especially Brits. Sometimes customers think I’m German. A rather drunk customer comes in.)

Customer: *reading my name tag* “How do you say your name?”

Me: *says my not very usual but definitely French name*

Customer: “So,where are you from?”

Me: “Try to guess!”

Customer: “Poland?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Estonia?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Lithuania?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Latvia?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: Russia?

Me: No

Customer: Republic Czech?

Me: No

Customer: “Poland?”

Me: “No, you already asked.”

Customer: “Oh right! Germany?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Dutch?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Romanian?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “You are from Eastern Europe right?”

Me: “Nope.”

Customer: “Well, you look like it!”

(He keeps going and names almost every country in Europe, some twice, but none where people actually speaks French. The evening is slow so I don’t mind and it’s actually quite fun. Finally:)

Customer: “So where are you from then?”

Me: “France.”

Customer: “I knew it!”

Related:
French Disconnection

The Oregon Fail, Part 2

| Spokane, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Canada, Geography

(I’m working at a national retail electronics store. We’re required to attempt to collect demographic data in the form of a ZIP code, unless the customer is from another country.)

Me: “That will be [total]. May I have your ZIP code?”

Customer: “I’m from Ontario. ”

Me: “Ontario….?”

Customer: “Oh, my god! You Americans are so ignorant about any other country! You should know it’s in Canada! Honestly!”

Me: “Ma’am, there is an Ontario, Oregon and an Ontario, California in the US that I know of. Since you’re from Canada, I don’t need your information. Have a nice day.”

(The customer’s face turned red, and they left immediately.)

Related:
From NotAlwaysRelated:
The Oregon Fail

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