Below is an excerpt from a recent conversation:
'Hi GWCH! Look what I brought you!'
'Oh, what a pretty wedding invitation. Who is it for?'
'A Pakistanian guy. Do you know him?'
'I don't know. I have a few Pakistani friends, but don't think I know this groom.'
'Can you read the invitation?'
'No, I can't read Urdu. I know Farsi and a little bit of Arabic.'
'That's too bad that your parents didn't teach you Pakistanian.'
(Confused look on my face.)
'It's just that I thought you'd be proud of your Pakistanian heritage and all. You know, because you were talking about stuff that is going on over there for the last couple of weeks.'
(Trying to bite my tongue and not call her an idiot): 'Oh, no. I'm from Iran. I'm Iranian--some people say Persian. It's the same thing. We speak Farsi (also known as Persian). Pakistanis speak Urdu which has a similar alphabet and some shared words, but they're actually different languages.'
'Oh. So, you're not Pakistanian?'
(Me calmly nodding no, trying not to scream that there is no such thing as Pakistanian.)
'Huh. Maybe that's why I was confused and thought you were Indian. Do you know Indian?'
And that is the story of why I have welts in my mouth. And why I'm considering quitting my job and becoming a History and Geography teacher. God knows I can't make the kids any dumber.
Oh--and this lady has four kids, the first two of which she home schooled for a few years.