Author Topic: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?  (Read 8977 times)

Rimu05

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« on: March 24, 2017, 07:58:45 AM »
Hi all,

If you are not an immigrant and have a similar experience do share. I've been in America for ten years (moved here when I was 15) and having moved from Kenya or as I tell all Americans "Africa" because Kenya gives everyone and I mean everyone, a blank look.

Nonetheless, obviously there are stereotypes about "Africa" hence the following are dumb questions I've been asked.

1.) How did you get here? I actually didn't understand this one at first but then I sarcastically answered I swam here and someone legitimately asked, "Really?" Another person told me that I could have come by ship. I had only been in America two weeks then, do you know how long a ship takes?
2.) "Why is your English so good?" or "Wow, your English is really good." I still get that to this very day. Someone told me this a month ago and I was like "Yes, I only speak it natively." I've known English my whole life!
3.) Do your ride elephants, walk around naked, live with lions, live in huts, live in the middle of the jungle, etc
4.) Do you speak African? Kenya itself has about forty languages and this is not unique to Kenya. Almost all African countries have multiple languages (NOT DIALECTS, we have dialects too). So this is like asking, do you speak European?
5.) I told someone in class that I had read Lord of The Flies in 8th grade and they were like "You read books in Africa?" I said no, we read leaves.

On a funnier note:
On an African comment section I was in I asked fellow Africans what lies we tell Americans and there were two funny ones.

1.) The air hostess taught me English.
2.) On the how did you get here question: All Africans are spiritually connected with animals and we use animals as a guide to travel hence we communicated with animals and walked across countries until we crossed the ocean and came here.
You'd be amazed what people can believe!

This is not unique to America, my African friends in the UK have similar experiences though not as bad as mine. However, even friends who are in Australia report the same questions. I also have had Australians tell me that Americans have asked them if they ride Kangaroos and I've had Americans get asked the same questions in other countries. Are we all fat?

Share your ridiculous questions as an immigrant. A great way to kill stereotypes.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 08:01:23 AM by Rimu05 »

bwall

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 11:41:03 AM »
I regularly ask any Canadian I meet if he lives in an igloo and has a polar bear as a pet. No one has admitted to it yet, but I suspect them to be just too embarrassed to admit it.

When I meet a Mexican I ask him where in Mexico he's from. If it's some place I haven't heard of I ask how far it is from the nearest big city. The answer is always something like "X hours". Then I ask them if that is by donkey or on foot. They always say 'by car', but I suspect that they suffer from the same problem as the Canadians, too embarrassed to admit it.

I haven't seen many Aussies recently, but your post is an inspiration to ask them how many kangaroos they own and at what age they got their first koala bear (instead of a teddy bear).

I even heard that at the airport in Ireland everyone is handed a free pint of Guiness when they get off the plane. I can't wait to go there, it must be a great place.

Vindicated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Indianapolis
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 11:50:54 AM »
Not the same thing exactly, but within the US, different areas have vastly skewed views of other areas. 

When I moved from SoCal to the Midwest when I was 13, all of the kids at school would ask if I surfed.  Also, I'd get "How are you not tan?"  I'd say, "Uh, genetics."  I tried to get a tan, but my skin resisted.  If that's the worst thing I've got going for me, I'm doing pretty well.

To be fair, I was legitimately surprised that there were so many people in my new town.  I expected it to be nothing but fields of corn and spread out homes.  Way fewer cows than I imagined.
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama

marielle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 536
  • Age: 24
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 12:48:33 PM »
I'm from Ukraine.

I get "Are you a spy?" occasionally.

Some ask what language I speak. It's Russian. I don't remember Ukrainian. Then I have to explain to people why I speak Russian.

Then I have to explain for the next five years that I'm not Russian and regret telling people I even speak Russian. Adding, "I've never even been to Russia!" doesn't help.

bwall

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 01:00:51 PM »
I'm from Ukraine.

I get "Are you a spy?" occasionally.

Some ask what language I speak. It's Russian. I don't remember Ukrainian. Then I have to explain to people why I speak Russian.

Then I have to explain for the next five years that I'm not Russian and regret telling people I even speak Russian. Adding, "I've never even been to Russia!" doesn't help.

Hah! I love the spy question. You should always answer 'yes. Is it that obvious?', or 'Yes. How did you know? Please don't tell anyone.', etc. You can have endless fun with that one.

It is hard for most Americans to understand how you can be from one country yet speak a language that is native to another. Perhaps if you explain it in terms of French and Canada? "Just like there are Canadians who only speak French, there are Ukrainians who only speak Russian". Or something like that.

marielle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 536
  • Age: 24
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 01:04:12 PM »
I'm from Ukraine.

I get "Are you a spy?" occasionally.

Some ask what language I speak. It's Russian. I don't remember Ukrainian. Then I have to explain to people why I speak Russian.

Then I have to explain for the next five years that I'm not Russian and regret telling people I even speak Russian. Adding, "I've never even been to Russia!" doesn't help.

Hah! I love the spy question. You should always answer 'yes. Is it that obvious?', or 'Yes. How did you know? Please don't tell anyone.', etc. You can have endless fun with that one.

It is hard for most Americans to understand how you can be from one country yet speak a language that is native to another. Perhaps if you explain it in terms of French and Canada? "Just like there are Canadians who only speak French, there are Ukrainians who only speak Russian". Or something like that.

That would have been funny if I was smart enough to think of that as a kid. Though it might have made people think I'm even weirder...

I could use that example, but those types of people might not even know some Canadians speak French. Also, a lot of people in Ukraine speak both Ukrainian and Russian--I just don't remember Ukrainian anymore because of a lack of use for 17 years.

Vindicated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Indianapolis
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 01:07:46 PM »
I could use that example, but those types of people might not even know some Canadians speak French. Also, a lot of people in Ukraine speak both Ukrainian and Russian--I just don't remember Ukrainian anymore because of a lack of use for 17 years.

Yeah, it probably wouldn't do much good in America.  My Grandfather was French-Canadian and spoke French, but I didn't know there were areas of Canada that only speak French until reading these posts.  People without ancestry probably don't even know French-Canadian is a thing.
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3489
  • Age: 9
  • Location: WA
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 01:09:10 PM »
"Do you have cell phones in Europe?"
"Did you vote for the Queen?"
"My friend lives in London too! His name is John. Do you know him?"

ketchup

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2430
  • Age: 26
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 01:21:14 PM »
Not the same, but in a similar vein:

My girlfriend's family is terrified by the fact that she and I now live "in Chicago."

1) Chicago is big, and it's not 100% south side scariness.
2) We don't even live in Chicago, we live in a nice boring suburb almost an hour from downtown.  We're nearly the only people on our block under the age of 70 (mid-20s).
3) Her parents live in what one would consider "the ghetto" in Phoenix.  Police search helicopters every night growing up (I didn't truly believe this at first), people selling fake jewelry and god-knows-what in the Walmart parking lot, that kind of place.

teen persuasion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 916
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 02:21:45 PM »
Not the same, but in a similar vein:

My girlfriend's family is terrified by the fact that she and I now live "in Chicago."

1) Chicago is big, and it's not 100% south side scariness.
2) We don't even live in Chicago, we live in a nice boring suburb almost an hour from downtown.  We're nearly the only people on our block under the age of 70 (mid-20s).
3) Her parents live in what one would consider "the ghetto" in Phoenix.  Police search helicopters every night growing up (I didn't truly believe this at first), people selling fake jewelry and god-knows-what in the Walmart parking lot, that kind of place.

Also similar: an out-of-state phone rep trying to make conversation after noting our address asked if we frequently went into "The City", like for outings/events.  Um, which city?  The little county seat 10 miles away, the bigger metro an hour+ away, the big international metropolis 3 hours away?  Nope - NYC.  Ten hours away. 

NYS != NYC

pachnik

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2017, 02:32:07 PM »
My last name is very common in E. Europe.  But very unusual in Canada. 

Whenever anyone I know encounters someone with the same last name as me, they assume we are related!   Maybe not so strange but it does make me laugh a bit

katsiki

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Louisiana
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2017, 02:52:10 PM »
People are so stupid...

I have two to contribute.  My wife is of Greek descent.  She has been asked many dumb things but the two most memorable:

1) Greece?  Oh, where Hercules is from.
2) Wait, Greece is a real place?  I suppose they thought it was only a mythological place.

"busy eating lentils in a van by the river"

Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2017, 05:44:44 PM »
I regularly ask any Canadian I meet if he lives in an igloo and has a polar bear as a pet. No one has admitted to it yet, but I suspect them to be just too embarrassed to admit it.

When I meet a Mexican I ask him where in Mexico he's from. If it's some place I haven't heard of I ask how far it is from the nearest big city. The answer is always something like "X hours". Then I ask them if that is by donkey or on foot. They always say 'by car', but I suspect that they suffer from the same problem as the Canadians, too embarrassed to admit it.

I haven't seen many Aussies recently, but your post is an inspiration to ask them how many kangaroos they own and at what age they got their first koala bear (instead of a teddy bear).

I even heard that at the airport in Ireland everyone is handed a free pint of Guiness when they get off the plane. I can't wait to go there, it must be a great place.

Lol. Priceless.

Rimu05

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2017, 06:47:12 PM »
"Do you have cell phones in Europe?"
"Did you vote for the Queen?"
"My friend lives in London too! His name is John. Do you know him?"

OMG, I get this too but even worse. "I have a Nigerian Friend, do you know him?"  " Or I have a Ghanaian friend"

I had someone even tell me "My husband is from Ghana, he's going to be so excited I met a Kenyan."

I didn't have the heart to go "Why in heaven's name would he be?" It's like me going and telling someone from New York, "Oh you are going to be so excited, I met someone from California!"

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1416
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2017, 07:21:02 PM »
When I came to university in the USA, I wasn't allowed to enroll in classes until I had an interview with the Applied English department (where they discern whether or not immigrant students speak English). I'm Canadian. They asked if I had done all of my schooling in English and I said no, most was in French. The interviewer checked the box for me to take the TOEFL to prove I speak English, but I hurriedly told her that my parents are British, so I grew up speaking the Queen's English. She decided that was good enough and gave me a certificate certifying that I speak English without the TOEFL.

In Canada, when Princess Diana died, a friend's mother asked me if my family would be returning to England for her funeral. I went home and asked my Mom, who raised her eyebrow and pointedly replied, "We're not... monarchists."

Inaya

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1229
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2017, 07:47:41 PM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.
My Cleverly Titled Journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/cleverly-titled-journal/
My Cat's Facebook Page (yes, really): www.facebook.com/chicagotau
Tau now has an Instagram: www.instagram.com/chicagotau or #chicagotau
Ting referral ($25 credit!): https://zds8505smfe.ting.com/
Discover Card referral ($50 now and $50 after your first year! and free credit monitoring): https://refer.discover.com/s/gv3ma

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3489
  • Age: 9
  • Location: WA
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2017, 07:55:41 PM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.
It's even worse for Puerto Ricans. The vast majority of Americans have no idea Puerto Rico is part of the United States, let alone place it on a map.

So they'll get questions like "how hard was it to immigrate" or "when are you becoming a citizen".

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1538
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2017, 08:45:03 PM »
Also similar: an out-of-state phone rep trying to make conversation after noting our address asked if we frequently went into "The City", like for outings/events.  Um, which city?  The little county seat 10 miles away, the bigger metro an hour+ away, the big international metropolis 3 hours away?  Nope - NYC.  Ten hours away. 

NYS != NYC
Worse still: we ate dinner in a restaurant in a suburb of Raleigh, NC, and the waiter kept talking about things in "the city". He didn't mean Raleigh, he really was talking about NYC, and expected us to know that!

Also, I was at a meet and greet once here in the US. When a fan mentioned she'd come from New Zealand, the artist said "oh, did you fly or did you drive?"  Seriously?

marty998

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4594
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2017, 08:48:28 PM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.
It's even worse for Puerto Ricans. The vast majority of Americans have no idea Puerto Rico is part of the United States, let alone place it on a map.

So they'll get questions like "how hard was it to immigrate" or "when are you becoming a citizen".

Had an unfortunate incident on a holiday years ago, when I accidentally referred to a big man from Puerto Rico as being from Costa Rica.

There was hell to pay.

less4success

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 227
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
    • My journey to part-time/semi-FIRE
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2017, 08:54:04 PM »
On behalf of my fellow Americans: sorry :/

marty998

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4594
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2017, 08:54:29 PM »
Hi all,

If you are not an immigrant and have a similar experience do share. I've been in America for ten years (moved here when I was 15) and having moved from Kenya or as I tell all Americans "Africa" because Kenya gives everyone and I mean everyone, a blank look.

Surely you jest about Americans not knowing where it is? Wasn't your previous president was born in Kenya?

 ;)

Padonak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2017, 08:59:11 PM »
I'm from Ukraine.

I get "Are you a spy?" occasionally.

Some ask what language I speak. It's Russian. I don't remember Ukrainian. Then I have to explain to people why I speak Russian.

Then I have to explain for the next five years that I'm not Russian and regret telling people I even speak Russian. Adding, "I've never even been to Russia!" doesn't help.

Превед!

JetBlast

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2017, 09:26:23 PM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.

Oh yeah. New Mexicans can definitely relate.

I've been asked if it is safe to drink the water in New Mexico. I've been told numerous times that my English is very good. I've known many Americans that couldn't find New Mexico on a map.

Then there was that time when the ticket office for the Atlanta Olympic Games told New Mexicans they needed to call the Mexican Olympic Committee to buy tickets for the games.
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1996/New-Mexico-Olympic-Fan-Runs-Into-Geography-Gaffe/id-366bfcffe7e6abd34923a387d6b3ee98

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6038
  • Location: NYC
  • Cake or Death?
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2017, 10:03:16 PM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.

Oh yeah. New Mexicans can definitely relate.

I've been asked if it is safe to drink the water in New Mexico. I've been told numerous times that my English is very good. I've known many Americans that couldn't find New Mexico on a map.

Then there was that time when the ticket office for the Atlanta Olympic Games told New Mexicans they needed to call the Mexican Olympic Committee to buy tickets for the games.
http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1996/New-Mexico-Olympic-Fan-Runs-Into-Geography-Gaffe/id-366bfcffe7e6abd34923a387d6b3ee98

WHAT? Americans don't know New Mexico is a state? I'm terrible with geography, but even I know it's one of those square-ish ones. Near Mexico. Gimme a gold star, please.

Then again, I did spend my formative years playing the thrilling game of "be quizzed on all the state capitals while your sibling looks on in disgust." Say what you want about me, but I know my states.

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2017, 11:10:20 PM »
I was born in the US, first generation American. My grandparents are from Spain.

During college, I did an internship in the Chicagoland area. This was right before the Barcelona Olympics. A coworker that had never left the state of Illinois came to talk with me because she was really into equestrian sports and was going to go to the Barcelona Olympics. She was really excited for her trip, but also very concerned. She asked me if she would have to take the bus filled with chickens and pigs while in Barcelona. I guess she thought it was a rural place.

I replied...uh no...Barcelona is way more urban and cultured than this suburb of Chicago you live in. Well I didn't say it exactly like that,  but I did calm her fears.

Oh and everyone asked me if I grew up eating burritos. I do love burritos, don't get me wrong, but no, not all Spanish speaking people grow up eating burritos.

Miss Piggy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 841
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2017, 10:01:34 AM »
1.) How did you get here? I actually didn't understand this one at first but then I sarcastically answered I swam here and someone legitimately asked, "Really?" Another person told me that I could have come by ship. I had only been in America two weeks then, do you know how long a ship takes?
2.) "Why is your English so good?" or "Wow, your English is really good." I still get that to this very day. Someone told me this a month ago and I was like "Yes, I only speak it natively." I've known English my whole life!
3.) Do your ride elephants, walk around naked, live with lions, live in huts, live in the middle of the jungle, etc
4.) Do you speak African? Kenya itself has about forty languages and this is not unique to Kenya. Almost all African countries have multiple languages (NOT DIALECTS, we have dialects too). So this is like asking, do you speak European?
5.) I told someone in class that I had read Lord of The Flies in 8th grade and they were like "You read books in Africa?" I said no, we read leaves.


I clicked this thread fully expecting to be disappointed in your disgust of legitimate questions from genuinely curious people. But yeah, I agree with you, these questions are just plain stupid.

But hey, do you know my friend Vivian from Liberia? (Just kidding.)

I know relatively little about Kenya, but I'd really like to go there someday. My bucket list includes a trip to Kruger National Park, and I'd love to see other parts of the country as well.

BlueHouse

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2464
  • Location: WDC
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2017, 10:37:17 AM »
I live in our nation's capital, Washington DC.  There are way too many recent examples about people not knowing that the District of Columbia is a real place and that our drivers licenses are acceptable "state" forms of identification.  Liquor vendors and even the TSA have had to have clarifications after "misunderstandings".

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/oh-the-indignities-that-dc-must-bear/2014/07/15/e99c486c-0c87-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.94dca4352d08

http://wamu.org/story/14/07/15/after_incident_granite_state_liquor_regulators_say_dc_license_is_valid/

Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

BlueHouse

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2464
  • Location: WDC
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2017, 10:40:50 AM »
Also, when I was traveling around Africa, I was routinely questioned asked if I lived in a home like the ones on "Dallas", despite Dallas not having been aired on US TV in over 30 years, it was apparently one of the few american TV shows on the air in South Africa. 

A few others told me they loved American accents and kept asking me to say "I'm gonna kick your ass".  I asked what that was all about and they just started chanting "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!"  Ugh.  THAT's our legacy to the rest of the world? 

Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Rimu05

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2017, 06:51:22 PM »
1.) How did you get here? I actually didn't understand this one at first but then I sarcastically answered I swam here and someone legitimately asked, "Really?" Another person told me that I could have come by ship. I had only been in America two weeks then, do you know how long a ship takes?
2.) "Why is your English so good?" or "Wow, your English is really good." I still get that to this very day. Someone told me this a month ago and I was like "Yes, I only speak it natively." I've known English my whole life!
3.) Do your ride elephants, walk around naked, live with lions, live in huts, live in the middle of the jungle, etc
4.) Do you speak African? Kenya itself has about forty languages and this is not unique to Kenya. Almost all African countries have multiple languages (NOT DIALECTS, we have dialects too). So this is like asking, do you speak European?
5.) I told someone in class that I had read Lord of The Flies in 8th grade and they were like "You read books in Africa?" I said no, we read leaves.


I clicked this thread fully expecting to be disappointed in your disgust of legitimate questions from genuinely curious people. But yeah, I agree with you, these questions are just plain stupid.

But hey, do you know my friend Vivian from Liberia? (Just kidding.)

I know relatively little about Kenya, but I'd really like to go there someday. My bucket list includes a trip to Kruger National Park, and I'd love to see other parts of the country as well.

Kruger is in South Africa and I quite recommend South Africa too on account of living there and loving it. However, do add the Maasai Mara to your bucket list.

Miss Piggy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 841
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2017, 07:26:33 PM »
1.) How did you get here? I actually didn't understand this one at first but then I sarcastically answered I swam here and someone legitimately asked, "Really?" Another person told me that I could have come by ship. I had only been in America two weeks then, do you know how long a ship takes?
2.) "Why is your English so good?" or "Wow, your English is really good." I still get that to this very day. Someone told me this a month ago and I was like "Yes, I only speak it natively." I've known English my whole life!
3.) Do your ride elephants, walk around naked, live with lions, live in huts, live in the middle of the jungle, etc
4.) Do you speak African? Kenya itself has about forty languages and this is not unique to Kenya. Almost all African countries have multiple languages (NOT DIALECTS, we have dialects too). So this is like asking, do you speak European?
5.) I told someone in class that I had read Lord of The Flies in 8th grade and they were like "You read books in Africa?" I said no, we read leaves.


I clicked this thread fully expecting to be disappointed in your disgust of legitimate questions from genuinely curious people. But yeah, I agree with you, these questions are just plain stupid.

But hey, do you know my friend Vivian from Liberia? (Just kidding.)

I know relatively little about Kenya, but I'd really like to go there someday. My bucket list includes a trip to Kruger National Park, and I'd love to see other parts of the country as well.

Kruger is in South Africa and I quite recommend South Africa too on account of living there and loving it. However, do add the Maasai Mara to your bucket list.

You are absolutely right...I got my safari areas mixed up, darnit. It's the Maasai Mara I want to visit. And as touristy as I'm sure it is, I'd like to stay a few nights at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.

kei te pai

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2017, 09:10:05 PM »
OT I know, but add Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania), Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park (Botswana) to your list as well!

mustachepungoeshere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1569
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2017, 10:44:43 PM »
I haven't seen many Aussies recently, but your post is an inspiration to ask them how many kangaroos they own and at what age they got their first koala bear (instead of a teddy bear).

Koalas aren't bears, but drop bears are.

BlueHouse

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2464
  • Location: WDC
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2017, 08:52:47 AM »
I went to college with someone who asked one of our Greek students "so, like, do you guys still believe in all those gods and goddesses?"
Engineering school.  Not kidding. 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1960
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2017, 08:58:40 AM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.
It's even worse for Puerto Ricans. The vast majority of Americans have no idea Puerto Rico is part of the United States, let alone place it on a map.

So they'll get questions like "how hard was it to immigrate" or "when are you becoming a citizen".

This was even on display during the Justice Sotomayor nomination. The media kept saying her parent's "emigrated" from Purto Rico.. Ehh, in the same way you "emigrate" from Illinois to Virginia? It's called moving!
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 09:00:19 AM by Scandium »

Poundwise

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 739
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2017, 09:13:45 AM »
I've been mistaken for my own children's nanny, though I guess these were assumptions,  not questions.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 09:15:30 AM by Poundwise »

marcela

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2017, 09:16:46 AM »
I'm from Brazil, Rio de Janeiro specifically and emigrated with my family when I was very young. Some of the doozies I've gotten:
Did I live in the Amazon/ in a treehouse/ did my home have floors? Do you have cars in Brazil? What was it like moving to a city (meaning when we moved to the US)? I grew up in one of the largest cities in the world, over a thousand miles from the Amazon rainforest. Yes I had a floor.

How do you speak english so well? So do you speak spanish (nope we speak portuguese)

Minds are blown when I try to explain how I am a white latina. Not hispanic, because my country is not a spanish speaking one. I had someone ask if that meant that I was pacific islander.

My husband gets eye waggles from men when it's mentioned that I'm from brazil. Not 100% certain what the implication is there, but it feels gross.

Vindicated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Indianapolis
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2017, 09:37:59 AM »
My husband gets eye waggles from men when it's mentioned that I'm from brazil. Not 100% certain what the implication is there, but it feels gross.

Take it as a compliment.  They're just jealous they couldn't land a hot Brazilian!

My Wife is black (Haitian / Brazilian) and I'm white.  When I get the "eye waggle" I take it as a compliment, even though I'm sure there are times when it is not. 

I've been mistaken for my own children's nanny, though I guess these were assumptions,  not questions.

Our Son is very light skinned (probably due to my extreme paleness), so DW has gotten the Nanny-Assumption before.  Just roll with it, love life, and let the negatives roll off of you.
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama

marcela

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2017, 09:47:20 AM »
My husband gets eye waggles from men when it's mentioned that I'm from brazil. Not 100% certain what the implication is there, but it feels gross.

Take it as a compliment.  They're just jealous they couldn't land a hot Brazilian!

My Wife is black (Haitian / Brazilian) and I'm white.  When I get the "eye waggle" I take it as a compliment, even though I'm sure there are times when it is not. 

Yeah, how do you know I'm hot? Why does my nationality make me "hotter" than someone from another country? What you just said kinda reinforces my feeling that it's gross when people do that.

Inaya

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1229
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2017, 09:53:43 AM »
Minds are blown when I try to explain how I am a white latina. Not hispanic, because my country is not a spanish speaking one. I had someone ask if that meant that I was pacific islander.

It always amuses me to think how people's minds would blow if a white person born in Africa got dual American-African citizenship--a white African American.
My Cleverly Titled Journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/cleverly-titled-journal/
My Cat's Facebook Page (yes, really): www.facebook.com/chicagotau
Tau now has an Instagram: www.instagram.com/chicagotau or #chicagotau
Ting referral ($25 credit!): https://zds8505smfe.ting.com/
Discover Card referral ($50 now and $50 after your first year! and free credit monitoring): https://refer.discover.com/s/gv3ma

Vindicated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Indianapolis
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2017, 09:55:02 AM »
I just have a habit of putting a positive spin on everything, and was hoping my comment would make the "eye waggles" not bother you as much.  I apparently failed.
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama

rosaz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2017, 11:03:10 AM »
Kinda off-topic but when people refer to Americans not being able to find New Mexico (for example) on a map... I've always wondered, are we talking about a labeled map or an un-labeled (just blank outline of states) map? Because I sometimes forget if it's New Mexico or Arizona that's to the east vs. west so I can't judge if we're talking un-labeled. But labeled would be troubling.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3489
  • Age: 9
  • Location: WA
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2017, 11:10:03 AM »
Minds are blown when I try to explain how I am a white latina. Not hispanic, because my country is not a spanish speaking one. I had someone ask if that meant that I was pacific islander.

It always amuses me to think how people's minds would blow if a white person born in Africa got dual American-African citizenship--a white African American.
So, Elon Musk?

JetBlast

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2017, 11:27:29 AM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.
It's even worse for Puerto Ricans. The vast majority of Americans have no idea Puerto Rico is part of the United States, let alone place it on a map.

So they'll get questions like "how hard was it to immigrate" or "when are you becoming a citizen".

Yesterday I saw a television ad promoting tourism in Puerto Rico. In big words on the bottom of the screen it said "No passport required".  I couldn't help but think of this thread.

Kris

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2381
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2017, 12:23:34 PM »
I just have a habit of putting a positive spin on everything, and was hoping my comment would make the "eye waggles" not bother you as much.  I apparently failed.

It gets a tad old for women when we are sexualized by random men and then told (by men) to take it as a compliment and that it's no big deal. I'm guessing Marcela is reacting to that.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6038
  • Location: NYC
  • Cake or Death?
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2017, 12:29:59 PM »
I just have a habit of putting a positive spin on everything, and was hoping my comment would make the "eye waggles" not bother you as much.  I apparently failed.

It gets a tad old for women when we are sexualized by random men and then told (by men) to take it as a compliment and that it's no big deal. I'm guessing Marcela is reacting to that.

Yeah, it's a lot easier to say shrug it off when you're not the one constantly confronted with assumptions (or worse) based on your skin color, gender, accent, or place of birth. Vin, I know you're well-intended. This is hard to understand from the outside.

Vindicated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Indianapolis
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2017, 12:31:09 PM »
I just have a habit of putting a positive spin on everything, and was hoping my comment would make the "eye waggles" not bother you as much.  I apparently failed.

It gets a tad old for women when we are sexualized by random men and then told (by men) to take it as a compliment and that it's no big deal. I'm guessing Marcela is reacting to that.

Yeah, it's a lot easier to say shrug it off when you're not the one constantly confronted with assumptions (or worse) based on your skin color, gender, accent, or place of birth. Vin, I know you're well-intended. This is hard to understand from the outside.

The definition of privilege, which I continue to discover still to this day.
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama

BlueHouse

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2464
  • Location: WDC
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2017, 01:21:04 PM »
Kinda off-topic but when people refer to Americans not being able to find New Mexico (for example) on a map... I've always wondered, are we talking about a labeled map or an un-labeled (just blank outline of states) map? Because I sometimes forget if it's New Mexico or Arizona that's to the east vs. west so I can't judge if we're talking un-labeled. But labeled would be troubling.

So, if you've ever tried to draw the 50 states from memory (meaning create the outlines yourself and place the names of states within the outlines), it's really really difficult!  I'm not saying your drawing skills need to be accurate.  You can just draw a circle for each state, etc.  But by the time I get from RI to Iowa, I start getting lost.  I know all of those states when there is an outline, but without the shape and the location to prod me, I just get lost.  Try it sometime for fun or as a contest!
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

plainjane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1067
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2017, 01:28:59 PM »
I just have a habit of putting a positive spin on everything, and was hoping my comment would make the "eye waggles" not bother you as much.  I apparently failed.
It gets a tad old for women when we are sexualized by random men and then told (by men) to take it as a compliment and that it's no big deal. I'm guessing Marcela is reacting to that.
Yeah, it's a lot easier to say shrug it off when you're not the one constantly confronted with assumptions (or worse) based on your skin color, gender, accent, or place of birth. Vin, I know you're well-intended. This is hard to understand from the outside.

I was reading a story about a person who met someone who was really tall, and they had a business card with the FAqs and answers.

Oh, here it is: http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/10/tall-teenager-has-business-cards-if-you-ask-about-his-height.html
Using procrastination to my advantage since 2001.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3489
  • Age: 9
  • Location: WA
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2017, 02:50:55 PM »
It is a well documented phenomenon that being from a foreign land automatically increases your attractiveness for the natives, up until the point that you become so ubiquitous to be considered a commodity.

An American who's a 6 who goes to Canada gets bumped to maybe a 6.2, but becomes a solid 8 in Germany.






Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2017, 10:01:37 PM »
When my brother moved to the midwest he had some people ask him if our father was a wife beater. We are hispanic.