Not Worried About Geography

, , , , | Related | April 5, 2020

Several years ago, I had planned a vacation to Romania and Bulgaria. At the time, Sarajevo had had a devastating flood, and Ukraine was in the depths of their civil war. My mom called me the day before I left. 

Mom: “Aren’t you worried about the flooding?”

Me: “That’s in the Balkans, Mom. I’m not going there.” 

Mom: “Okay. What about the war?”

Me: “That’s Ukraine. I’m not going there, either.”

Mom: “Okay, well, just be careful.”

Me: “If you didn’t worry about these things, you wouldn’t be my mom.”

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Snow Way They’re That Dumb

, , , , , | Right | February 6, 2020

(We’re having another heatwave, which is very common in Southern Alberta. An Englishman and an American man walk into the restaurant where I work as a waiter.)

American: “I expected it to be… colder.”

Englishman: “Yeah. Are you sure we’re in Canada?”

American: “I dunno, we might be lost. I don’t see any snow.”

(The two walk up to me while I’m serving a young couple.)

Englishman: “’Scuse me, sir?”

(I turn to him.)

Me: “Yes?”

American: “Are we in Canada?”

Me: “I’m guessing you were expecting snow, beavers, maybe an igloo or two?”

(They both nodded. Feeling like being “funny,” I was about to tell them, “No, this is still the States; keep heading north,” but before I could respond, the Englishman whispered something to the American. He then pointed up to a plaque featuring the Canadian flag and its anthem. They both turned extremely red and ran out.)

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Inside The Ring Of Colonialism

, , , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2020

(My girlfriend and I are on our first holiday abroad together — both from the UK — travelling with my family. We are both at the evening meal buffet and the hotel is serving calamari. My girlfriend is standing next to the calamari when a stranger approaches her, a British male who is also staying at the hotel.)

Stranger: *pointing to calamari* “They shouldn’t serve that muck here.”

Girlfriend: “Excuse me?”

Stranger: “Those rings — I thought they were onion rings so I put some on my plate. They shouldn’t serve that muck as people will think that they’re onion rings.”

(I should point out at this point that each item of food has a little card next to it that says what the item is in Spanish and in English.)

Girlfriend: “But it’s calamari; it’s a popular dish.”

Stranger: “I know what it is, but they shouldn’t serve it because it’s foreign muck.”

(My girlfriend leaves to get food from elsewhere, and I just happen to approach the calamari. I’m putting the food that is next to the calamari onto my plate when the stranger approaches me.)

Stranger: *points to the calamari* “Don’t put that on your plate.”

Me: “I’m sorry, were you wanting some?”

Stranger: “No, they shouldn’t be serving that foreign muck in a place like this.”

Me: “In a Spanish hotel?”

Stranger: “People could think that they are onion rings.”

Me: “But it says what it is on the card.”

Stranger: “I don’t care; they shouldn’t be serving it. People don’t like it.”

Me: “Actually, I’m glad that they’re serving it because I love calamari.”

Stranger: “Well, not everyone does.”

Me: *pointing to another dish being served* “I don’t like that, but they’re still serving it and I haven’t got a problem with that because I know that people do.”

Stranger: “But people could think that they’re onion rings.”

(At that point, I realised that you can’t fix stupid and pushed past the stranger to get to the calamari. Surprisingly, he didn’t block me. I began to walk away when my mum approached the calamari and loaded some onto her own plate. The stranger just stared before walking off.)

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There’s No Place Like Home, Motherf*****s!

, , , , | Related | February 1, 2020

(The little sister mentioned in this story isn’t actually our sister, but my brother’s friend, who has been basically adopted by my family since we’ve known her for most of our lives and my mother has treated her like her own for a long time. My youngest brother lives in England and my older sister in California. My second brother is also considering moving. Our family is from Finland.)

Little Sister: “I thought of applying to [French University] after I finish my current degree.”

Little Brother: “I thought you wanted to get into [University near her].”

Little Sister: “Yeah, I did, but Dad will have peacekeeping responsibilities for at least eight years, you don’t live here, [Sister] doesn’t live here, [Older Brother] doesn’t want to live here… I have no family members here and it just feels wrong.”

(Yup, that’s how she said it.)

Me: “Okay, don’t get me wrong; I support your decision, no matter what it is. But could you, my dearest siblings, please stop solving all of your problems with moving out of the country?”

Little Sister: “Okay, first of all, adopted, so I don’t count, and therefore, I do whatever I want. Au revoir, motherf*****s.”

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Clean Water, Not Dirty Bombs

, , , , , , | Right | January 19, 2020

Some classmates and I were on a month-long expedition through northern Argentina. Prior to our journey, we were equipped with iodine to purify our drinking water from taps and streams, which came in dropper bottles. We were in the Buenos Aires airport ready to go back home to see our families.

After successfully going through airport security, we filled our Nalgenes with water from the restroom tap, gathered in the boarding area, and began passing around the iodine to drop into our bottles.

Not ten minutes later, airport security evacuated everyone from the gate to go through the checkpoint they had just set up again. We had to dump out our freshly-purified water.

After going through the checkpoint again, we realized why they might have set up additional security. Thirteen foreigners suspiciously putting unknown chemicals into water bottles doesn’t look good. We brought the iodine into the bathroom for the next round of purification, which still looked odd to the bystander, but was a little more discreet.

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