1. This happened when I was working as a sales associate in a souvenir shop in Wyoming.
- Woman: Do you have these t-shirts in three X’s?
- Me: No, unfortunately we don’t. XXL is our largest size.
- Woman: So only skinny people can find clothes here.
2. This conversation took place in a Greyhound bus in California. The guy who sat next to me started talking to me.
- Guy: So, where are you going?
- Me: I’m going to Washington, D.C. Quite a distance. What about you?
- Guy: I’m going to Florida. It’s where I live.
- Me: Wow, even greater distance! I thought I was the only crazy one here, traveling across the whole continent on a bus. When will you get to Florida?
- Guy: In four days. I’m used to this so it’s no big deal. Do you live in D.C.?
- Me: No, actually I’m from Finland. I’m only traveling here.
- Guy [amazed]: Wow, Finland. I’ve been to Finland once.
- Me [excited]: Really? Where?
- Guy: Baku.
- Me [bewildered]: Baku?
- Guy: Yeah, Baku.
- Me: Can you spell it for me?
- Guy: B-A-K-U. Here, I’ll show you [grabs phone].
- Me: So you were somewhere there [points to Azerbaijan where Baku is]?
- Guy: Yeah, but a long time ago.
- Me: Right.
3. Chatting with a guy from work.
- Guy: So you’re from Finland. Is it true that in Finland men and women go to sauna together? That even strangers can see each other naked in a sauna?
- Me: Not really. Family members can go to sauna together, but in public saunas it’s different. In swimming halls, for instance, there are separate saunas for men and women.
- Guy: Damn, can’t see you naked then.
- Me: I don’t think a sauna would’ve done the trick anyway.