I’m not sure if this is a good thing, but I really think my patience level for certain things has waned over the last couple of years. In my Twitter feed at work a couple of days ago, I saw that Uber had expanded to Auckland. I’ve been getting into Uber lately (well, for work use, anyway), and I exclaimed out loud, “Uber is in Auckland now!” At least three male voices surrounding me asked in annoyed, confused voices, “What/where is Auckland?” I immediately felt irritated and told them it was a major city in New Zealand, and I exchanged a look with one of our auditors, who is temporarily on assignment in our office for three weeks and who is originally from New Zealand. He’s used to people not knowing what Auckland or Wellington are, and is even more used to people not even knowing where New Zealand is. He told me that he used to think that the stereotype that Americans’ geographical knowledge was poor was just exaggerated, but in his five and a half months living here in the States, he’s realized that maybe it actually isn’t an exaggeration. He’s had people ask him where New Zealand is or if it’s in Australia or Canada. He’s even confused people when he’s said he’s from New Zealand, and when they’ve heard him speak, they’ve told him, “You speak really good English.” Well, I’d hope so since New Zealand is an English-speaking country. “These people are morons!” He said to me. He must feel at ease because he can speak quickly with me and know I understand everything he is saying. I guess that’s what happens when my life partner is from Australia and I’ve spent extensive time with his Australian family and friends. As much as he doesn’t want to admit it, Aussies and Kiwis sound very similar accent-wise.
Some of my colleagues think I am odd for befriending an auditor who is checking our books, but I just find it ironic that I’ve made a friend at work who is not even my colleague.