Flagged Down The Right Guy

, , , , , | Friendly | May 16, 2018

(I am volunteering at a major international sporting event as a venue host, so I answer customer’s questions, show them to their seats, etc. All the flags of the participating nations in this particular event are hanging from the ceiling of the venue. I am also a huge geography nerd.)

Customer: “Excuse me; do you which country has that white and maroon flag?”

Me: “That is Latvia.”

Customer: “Oh. What about that red, green, and white one?”

Me: “That’s Belarus.”

Customer: “Did you guys have to memorize all this stuff?”

Me: “No, sir, you just happened to ask the right person about this stuff.”

Do You Speak Asian?

, , , , | Working | May 2, 2018

(My boyfriend is Chinese, but is fluent in both English and Mandarin. He does have a noticeable accent, which sometimes makes people assume he knows less English than he does. He finds this hilarious and tends to mess with people who do it. This is the best/worst example we’ve seen yet.)

Boyfriend: *approaches cashier with a pair of headphones* “Hi, do you have—”

Cashier: *interrupting him and speaking VERY slowly* “I. Only. Speak. English.”

Boyfriend: *smiling and switching to Mandarin* “Do you have these headphones in any other colors?”

Cashier: “No, no.” *gesturing to herself* “English.”

Boyfriend: *still in Mandarin* “Yes, I heard you the first time.”

(The cashier sees me looking at a nearby display and desperately beckons me over.)

Cashier: “Are you with him?”

(I nod. I am Caucasian and look it, but my boyfriend has taught me a good bit of Mandarin.)

Cashier: “Do you know what he wanted? He—”

Me: *in Mandarin* “Why are you asking me? Talk to him.”

(I turn and go back to my browsing. The cashier throws up her hands in exasperation and cranes her neck, spotting another employee across the store.)

Cashier: *shouting* “[Other Employee], help me, please!”

(The other employee, who is also Asian, comes up to the register.)

Cashier: *pointing to my boyfriend* “I can’t understand him.”

Boyfriend: *to the other employee, still in Mandarin* “Hi, how are you?”

Other Employee: *obviously trying not to laugh* “[Cashier], I’m not Chinese; I’m Japanese, and I don’t even speak that.”


(She flees from the counter, and the second she’s out of earshot, my boyfriend switches back to English.)

Boyfriend: “I was just wondering if you had these headphones in any other colors. Sorry, I think my accent confused her.”

(The other employee just stares for a second before bursting out laughing.)

Other Employee: “Yes, we do! I’m so sorry about her; it’s not the first time she’s done that.”

(He gave us a discount for the trouble, and promised to have a talk with the cashier.)

There Is Mexico, And Only Mexico

, , , , | Right | April 7, 2018

(My coworker is African with a clearly non-Hispanic name, whereas I am extremely pale. I’ve just finished checking out. The customer behind me is Hispanic.)

Customer: “[Coworker], where are you from? Mexico?”

Coworker: “Heh, yeah.”

Me: “Actually, he’s from Guatemala.”

Customer: “Ah, Guatemala. And you, where are you from, Mexico?”

Coworker: “She’s from Honduras.”

No Vocation For Location, Part 20

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 5, 2018

(My housemates and I have invited one of our mutual friends over, and he asks if he can bring a girl he’s been really keen to ask out the last couple of weeks. We agree, and he invites her along, too. When she arrives, she seems like a perfectly nice person; however, she isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. At one point, we get around to talking about my dad.)

Friend: “How’s your dad doing?”

Me: “Oh, he’s okay, thanks. He’s in Geneva right now.”

Girl: “Er… What’s he doing there?”

Me: “There’s an academic conference there, and he’s giving a speech.”

Girl: “But why does he have to go out all the way to Africa?”

Me: “What?”

Girl: “Geneva. That’s in Africa, ain’t it?”

Me: “No, it’s in Switzerland.”

Girl: “But I thought that guy in The Last King of Scotland was the ruler of Geneva.”

Friend: “That was Uganda!”

Girl: “Oh.”

(Unfortunately, that is not a one-off, and throughout the evening she continues to her put her foot in it. At one point in the evening, we are watching the highlights from an AC Milan game.)

Housemate #1: “That’s an amazing strike.”

Girl: “Those Spaniards are really good at football, aren’t they?”

Housemate #2: “Spaniards? You mean Italians?”

Girl: “No, Spain. Milan is in Spain; I went there!”

Me: “That’s impossible. It’s in Italy.”

Girl: “No, it isn’t. It’s that place by the sea that all the British people like!”

Friend: “You went to Majorca, not Milan.”

Girl: “Oh, right. Well, it was with my family, so I guess I didn’t pay attention.” *laughs nervously*

No Vocation For Location, Part 19
No Vocation For Location, Part 18
No Vocation For Location, Part 17

A Capital Solution

, , , , , , | Related | April 2, 2018

(My cousin is coming over from Ireland for a few days. He messages me before he takes off. About five hours later he calls me. I have worried for a while at this point, because it shouldn’t have taken him so long.)

Cousin: “Hey, I’m at… St. Pancras.”

Me: “St. Pancras? As in London?”

Cousin: “Yeah. Where do I go?”

Me: “Mate, I’m in Edinburgh.”

Cousin: “Cool, when will you get here?”

Me: “It’s, like, eight hours away.”

Cousin: “Aww, am I going to have to wait here for eight hours?”

(I ended up buying him a flight from London to Edinburgh, and literally had to talk him through everything right up to getting on the plane. It turns out he flew to Gatwick Airport and took the train to St. Pancras. He had no idea where Edinburgh was, but since it was a capital city, he assumed it would be in London. I’ve decided to visit him, instead, from now on.)

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