Shooting For Controversy

, , , , | Learning | October 20, 2018

(An exchange student from Slovakia gives a presentation about her home country to several classes. Some gems:)

Girl: “These are common dishes in Slovakia. For some reason they all look disgusting.”

Girl: “No one cares about American football besides you. No one.”

Girl: “In Slovakia, we don’t have school shootings, or hurricanes, or tornadoes. We’re pretty peaceful.”

Girl: “Where do Europeans vacation? Other European countries!”

Girl: “In Slovakia, everyone usually goes to several other countries once a year or so. In America, you guys don’t even go to Canada. It doesn’t make sense!”

Girl: “How do you guys not have a volleyball team, but you have a bowling team?!”

Girl: “I like gym class here. I hate gym, and I don’t have to do anything.”

(After class:)

Me: “Sorry your national dishes look disgusting.”

Girl: “That’s okay; we don’t have school shootings!”

Should Have Said You’re From Middle Earth

, , , , , , | Working | October 17, 2018

My friend and I were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We are both New Zealanders. We met up with my American cousin and we were having a few drinks. We went to a different bar, and my friend and cousin went to order.

Shortly afterwards, my cousin came back to me saying I needed to go help at the bar. I went up and saw that the bartender had my friend’s passport and was arguing with her. Turns out the bartender thought it was fake, and was yelling at my friend about how our country isn’t real. I stepped in, showed her my passport, and got the same response. We Googled New Zealand on our phones and showed her, but she still refused to believe that our passports were legit or that New Zealand exists.

We decided to go elsewhere and the bartender wouldn’t give the passport back, still going on about how it was fake. I leaned over and wrenched it off her and ran out before she could call any security. Who knows? The security might never have seen a world map, either!

They Don’t Know The Way To San José

, , , | Friendly | October 16, 2018

(When my parents split my dad got a job with a company based in the USA. Twice a year I’d go visit him. I don’t remember how these people started talking to me, but I was a very social child.)

Random Person: “You are such a sweet child. Where are you from?”

Me: “Costa Rica.”

Random Person: “Oh! Puerto Rico is such a beautiful place.”

Me: “Costa Rica.”

Random Person: “Yes! It’s pronounced Puerto Rico.”

(Another random person, after telling him where I am from:)

Another Random Person: “Oh, that’s nice! Did your parents buy you those shoes when you came here? I always buy shoes for kids in third-world countries. Do you feel weird? Wearing shoes?”

(And yet another random person:)

Yet Another Random Person: “So, is Mexico nice?”

Me: “I don’t know. I’m from Costa Rica.”

Yet Another Random Person: “It’s the same. Isn’t Costa Rica a coast in Mexico?”

Me: “No.”

Yet Another Random Person: “I’m pretty sure it is.”

(When I am older and I’m back in the states, a guy is trying to impress me and asks me about my country.)

Me: “Costa Rica.”

Guy: “Oh, don’t we own you or something?”

Me: “What!? No. I think you are thinking Puerto Rico.”

Guy: “It’s the same. Costa Rica is ‘owned’ by the US, too.”

Me: “Mmm, no.”

Guy: “Well, I think it is.”

(The silver lining is that nowadays this happens a lot less than it used to.)

Jersey Girl

, , , , , | Working | October 15, 2018

(I go into an off-licence close to my house. I am twenty years old. I pick up a bottle of alcohol and go towards the counter.)

Cashier: “ID?”

(I hand my driver’s licence over and she takes one look at it, smirks, and then flings it onto the floor with her fingers.)

Cashier: “You’re too young to buy alcohol. Get out.”

(I look at my driver’s licence incredulously, trying to work out what it was that made her think it was a fake.)

Me: “But I’m twenty. This licence is genuine.”

(The cashier puts her hand on her hip.)

Cashier: “Kid, you’d better get out before I call the cops.”

Me: “I want to see your manager.”

Cashier: “Get out.”

Me: “Please!”

Cashier: “He’ll tell you the same thing.”

(She opens the door and calls for the manager. When he comes down, I tell him my side of the story.)

Manager: “Is this true?”

Cashier: *snickering* “He’s underage, [Manager]! And he didn’t even bother to get a fake ID; he just handed over his driver’s licence!”

Manager: “[Cashier], you’re not in New Jersey anymore; you’re in England. In England, the legal age to drink alcohol is eighteen.”

(The cashier looks taken aback for a moment.)

Cashier: *sneering* “No wonder the city folk are all [alcoholic slurs]!”

(She went upstairs. The manager apologized, saying that his niece was studying in Britain for a year. She was moved to the back after that.)

An Evergreen Lone Star

, , , , , , | Right | October 15, 2018

(My business is located in Tyler, Texas, and I answer the phone with our business name. I have a customer that has called to price some gravel from an odd area code, but I don’t think much of it due to the high volume of my customers with out-of-state area codes. We figure out what kind of gravel he wants and are now trying to price the delivery. )

Me: “Are you in Tyler, or one of the surrounding towns?”

Customer: “No, I’m not in Tyler, but I’m in [Completely Unfamiliar Town] nearby.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Say again?”

Customer: “I’m in [Completely Unfamiliar Town].”

Me: “I apologize, sir, but I’m not familiar with that town. Can you tell me where it is in relation to Tyler so I can look it up?”


Me: *pause* “That would be because you’ve called Tyler, Texas, sir. We’re not in Washington.”

Customer: “Oh, uh…” *hangs up*

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