November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Category: Geography

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

Not In A Good State To Come In

| Raleigh, NC, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Time

(I am working the front desk, and the phone rings. It is about 2:45 in the afternoon.)

Caller: “Hi. I was wondering if [Stylist] has any appointments today.”

Me: “Sorry, we don’t have a stylist by that name here, but I could make you an appointment with someone else. The earliest we can fit you in is 3:15.”

Caller: “Great, I’ll take it.”

(I make the appointment. 3:15 comes, and the girl does not show up. At 3:30 I give her a call back.)

Me: “Hi, [Caller]. Are you still planning to come in?”

Caller: “Yeah, 3:15 right?”

Me: “Yes, but it’s 3:35 now.”

Caller: “No, it’s only 12:35.”

Me: “This is [Salon] in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Caller: “Oh… I’m in Idaho.”

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.)

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!”

French Disconnection