Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conversation

Man at the hardware store says to me:

What accent you got there?

South African.

You don't look South African .

....

You don't look the type.

Here we go, I think: What type is that?

Man thinks, wheels visibly churning.

Well, not, think-think, what our American perception might be...

Which is..? I say, studying the potting soil.

Well: you don't look like a spear thrower!

...

...sigh.

Me, mildly: I don't think there's much spear throwing going on down there.

Man, incredulous, Really???

10 comments:

  1. ROTFL. You should've added, with an intense look at him: "But there still is cannibalism."

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  2. Then he would have uttered something unspeakable.

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  3. I once have a similar conversation with a man on a train station in an ex-communist country.

    Man - "You can't be from Africa - you're white!"

    Me - "South Africa" (lots of map drawing and gesticulating)

    "Aah. You killed the black people!" He points an imaginary gun at crowds running away.

    "Unfortunately, bad things happened" I look extremely apologetic.

    "I totally agree with what you did there!" He gives a big thumbs up, accompanied by a wide smile.

    I sigh and change the topic.

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  4. Hm, I recently got in trouble on the Net for being too sarcastic so I'm not even gonna TOUCH that...

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  5. I love Beence's suggestion...I love to have been a fly on the wall if you'd been able to continue your conversation with that response! It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant a lot of North Americans are about life outside their little walls!

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  6. "I'm from an island in the South Pacific."

    "Yeah? You don't look like one!"

    Not sure whether the bigotry or the grammar bothers me more. Today, I shrug it off, but it still irks me.

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  7. ugh!!

    but at the very least, thanks for the reminder that dimwits are everywhere — even in the mostly worldly of cities.

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  8. I'm old enough to know better but I still find this a bit shocking. It's also, for me, a good reminder that I shouldn't be overly optimistic about this country (USA) electing a non-white. It's tempting to think that, what's the cliche? "we've moved beyond race." No we haven't.

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