First of all, let me say that I love America. I am so proud to be an American. After living abroad for even six months, I see why people risk their lives to come into our country on a a daily basis. I am so thankful that I get to come home to a place as great as the ol’ USA.
That being said, it is exchanges like the following that give Americans a bad name abroad.
Guy greeting people at Dick’s Sporting Goods: “Welcome to Dicks! Can I help you find anything?”
Me: “Well, I know they are out of season, but I am looking for tennis skirts.”
GGPD: “Oh, well, we might not have any b/c its winter, but if we do they are over besides the golf stuff. Why do you need them now? You will freeze out there!”
Me: “Well, I live in Malaysia and it’s always pretty hot there.”
GGPD: “No way- Malaysia? Where is that anyway?”
Me: “It’s in Southeast Asia.”
GGPD: “That’s cool. Do you speak Asian or something?”
Me: “Excuse me. Asian?”
GGPD: “Yeah, Asian. You know, like Japanese.”
Me: “Hmmm, well, they don’t speak Asian or Japanese in Malaysia so I’m going to have to say no.”
Just get out a map people.
I’m not asking you to memorize the mountain ranges of Laos of countries or know the GDP of small developing countries.
I’m just asking that you know tid-bits of information such as:
a) that there is no such thing as an “asian” language
b) it takes about 7 hours to get from KL to Japan, which is about the time it takes to get from Atlanta to some places in Europe.
So, it’s not just around the corner is all I’m saying.
More to come on the trip home to America later, but I just had to share that gem while it was fresh on my mind!