Saturday, February 7, 2009

Everyday ignoramuses.

I was conversing with a couple of visitors we had form Netherlands the other day. One of them is originally from Africa and my curiosity led me to ask her about her country. Here's the conversation.

I: Where in Africa are you from?
Visitor: Oh, I am from Zimbabwe. It is a small country in ..
I: Oh,please. You do not have to tell me where Zimbabwe is! Of course I know. And, you guys have a cricket team don't you? I am sure that makes every Indian well aware of your country.
Visitor: [Laughs] Well, we used to have a cricket team. Sorry for trying to explain the location of my country but many people in Europe think Africa is one BIG country!
I: Are you kidding me?
Visitor: No. Just the other day, I had this person ask me if I knew his friend John from Ghana!
I: No kidding.
Visitor: No seriously, they do not understand that Ghana is a totally different country. How am I supposed to know this John?
I: Oh, well, at least this person did not live in Africa. When I was in grad school and I told my friend I was visiting New Mexico, she asked me if I needed a visa. And this was not even an immigrant. She was a white American who got her degree in engg from Urbana-Champaign and her Masters from Indiana.
Visitor: Seriously??
I: Yeah!!!