Sunday, October 3, 2010

the state of the union

I was just trying to order some lunchmeat at the deli counter.  "Could I please have about 6 slices of the roast beef?" (I know - I should have said, "MAY I").

The cocky young deli guy smiled and asked if I was uncomfortable ordering in the metric system.  Feeling a tiny bit patronized and equally flustered, I quickly tried to remember how I would have ordered at home - would I have ordered by the fraction of a pound or by the slice?

Before I could work out an answer, he asked me where I was from. I said, "The States". Again, his "bantering" response had that slightly patronizing edge - "Yeah - which one? There are 52, you know."

So Americans, unless there has been some major news that we've missed while living abroad, I think I actually got the last laugh this time.