There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune



Asking directions


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In Bologna:

[Sunset Shazz, on sidewalk, approached by distinguished looking Italian]

Italian [speaking in Italian]: Excuse me, do you live in this quarter?
Me [replying in Italian]: No, I'm sorry, I'm from San Francisco.
Italian: (Chuckles) That is indeed far away. Sorry to have bothered you.
Me (Mediterannean shrug - tips of the mouth curve downwards, raise eyebrows, head tilts back): It is nothing.

The point of this exchange is twofold:
1) Whenever you ask directions, you invariably approach the most clueless person in the area.
2) Whereas my friend ZMama is most definitely Indian-looking, my buddy Ace and I have the sort of non-descript features which allows us to blend into the general populace of the middle east, latin america, mexico and the mediterannean. The result is that we, generally, are able to blend in a little bit when travelling or living abroad. Most people in Istanbul assume I am Turkish, just as most people in Rome or Florence assume I am Italian. Where this occurs, it is extremely useful. Nothing is more disconcerting than walking down the road (e.g. in Beijing) and sticking out like a sore thumb.


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About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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