Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A sense of geography

Americans are popularly lambasted for knowing nothing about the rest of the world, especially in relation to knowing anything geographically (like where someplace is, for example). This always irritates me, because the simply truth is that most people in Europe are pretty ignorant on this front too, and this was yet again demonstrated to me today.

Colleague #1 is going to holiday in the US on Friday. Colleague #2 expressed concern that she might get caught in hurrican Ivan. Colleague #1 happens to be going to New York city, but I when I said to colleague #2 that, at least as far as Ivan was concerned, colleague #1 was in the clear, colleague #2 expressed grave doubts that could be the case.

I didn't really feel like pointing out just how far New York City is from where Ivan is likely to make landfall. I decided it would be impolite, but it still amused me. Here is an otherwise intelligent person demonstrated a complete lack of geography of the American continent, for something as simple as that it is more than a couple of hundred miles from Florida to New York.

I don't really know what the analogy it here. Perhaps if I say I am going to Rome and someone asks me about the weather in Scotland???

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