Sunday, June 8, 2014

Say what?!

You know, you meet a lot of interesting people with interesting views when you travel. I was remembering some of the funny/downright weird things people said to me over the last year and I thought I should record some.

I'll start with France!

1. Question asked by a (black) student on the first day of class:
"Do you like Obama?
Oh, so you're a racist."
You're way off there, buddy...

2. The FIRST question my students asked me after learning my name:
"How many weapons do you have?"
Tells you about their perspective of gun-crazy Americans :)

3. While having lunch with a (French) English teacher and her family:
"Why do American men wear such big shorts to go swimming in? It seems unsanitary because guys could just wear their normal clothes in the water and no one would know."
In case anyone was wondering why European men love their Speedos...

4. Talking with a different (French) English teacher about my plans for next year:
"Aren't you scared of living in the Middle East? Oh wait, you're from such a violent country so it must not bother you. You're so lucky to be in France right now where it's safe."

5. If you're a girl that's been to Europe, you're aware that European men are more than a little bit forward. Random people said things to me every say, but by far the creepiest was:
"Thank-you for wearing that skirt today." 
*Said while this man leered at my legs and stood in a shadowy doorway.*
My favorite things people said to me were the guy that said "Oh la la!", looked me up and down and blew me a kiss, and guys on two different occasions who looked at my outfit and said "Now this is class."

Random men in Europe= sometimes entertaining, sometimes super creepy.

6. A teacher at the middle school discovering the concept of microwave popcorn for the first time.
"People actually eat this in America? Are you sure it's not dangerous???!!"
Picture about 10 teachers gathered in the teacher's lounge around the microwave and jumping every time it made a popping noise. Two of them ran out of the room because they were sure there would be an explosion. One of the funniest things that happened in France.

And now let's get to things people said in Israel!

7. Tunnel singing is probably my least favorite thing about BYU. It's so weird to me. Students gather in the Marriott Center tunnel and sing hymns for fun. They just get way too into it. One day at the JC, a girl says:
"Guys!!!! Best idea ever!! Let's go tunnel singing at Hebrew U."
She wanted to go sing Mormon hymns. At a Jewish university. In an Arab neighborhood. In a country that had us sign an agreement never to promote or discuss our religion. I was so horrified that I had to include this. Thankfully the JC security didn't okay the idea.

8. The scenario: I'm at a shoe store with a few girls in a completely Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood that we don't usually go to. There are hardly ever other tourists or white people in this part of town.
"Are you Americans?
Do you like Obama?
Not really.
Good. We want to kill him. We will kill him for you *creepy laughter.*"
So that wasn't scary at all. In their defense, I did buy cute shoes there. 

9. These next few are all from the Shabbat dinner we attended with a British-Jewish family. The grandparents especially said lots of entertaining things. Such as:
"Are Mormons allowed to vote for Democrats?"

10. The family kept trying to get us to tell them things about Mormons, but we weren't allowed to. They assumed it was because we thought our religion was weird haha
"It's okay. Don't be afraid to tell us about your religion- Jews are weird too so it's fine. In fact, we're probably weirder. But at least we have alcohol." *takes big gulp of wine*

11. From the grandpa of the family:
"Arabs can't have dogs because dogs don't like Arabs. They don't trust them."
Uh, just taking a wild guess here. But I think it's him that doesn't trust Arabs.

12. We were hanging out at a park in Amman, Jordan. Me and my friend start talking to a Palestinian girl who was there.
"Oh, you're American!? I would love to visit America but I'm too scared.
Because of all of the black people. I think they would shoot me."
I don't even remember how we responded to that. The best part is that she was from Hebron, which is one of the more dangerous places in the West Bank...

13. The same Palestinian girl tells us that we're lucky we don't understand Arabic so we can't understand Arab pick-up lines. She said a common one when someone's eating ice cream is:
"Mmmmmmm, I wish I was your ice cream."
We weren't expecting that. 

14. I saved the best for last. And by best I mean the most ridiculous. I was telling a BYU girl about where I would be living in France and she got a little confused?

"I'm living on the French-German border next year.
Oh, so are there lots of minorities there?
What do you mean? Germans?
No. Like brown people. Like how in America there's Mexicans on our border.
Well, America borders Mexico. France doesn't.
Yeah, so they're not Mexicans. But what kind of brown people are there on their border?"

Me=speechless. I slowly backed away from that conversation and avoided talking to that girl ever again.

If you're bored, check out NEGLECTED. When I happened to be bored last week, I compiled a list of my least read posts for people to check out. Some of them I never posted on Facebook, so not many people saw them!