I get it. Africa’s fucking confusing. I didn’t REALLY know too much shit about it until I was a sophomore in high school, and plenty of people go their whole lives without knowing shit about it ever. You can’t blame people for not knowing enough about a region if the media treats it all as one giant country full of rape and lions and people dying and Darfur and more lions. I am willing to cut people ENORMOUS amounts of slack, and consider it a privilege to have those conversations where I get to gently go “You know what? ‘Africa’ is actually a whole continent, with a billion people, and 2,600 languages, and lots and lots of different countries …”

But sometimes, the degree of DURR is so high I have little choice but to smack my forehead and grumble. For example, if you’re *been there* (or claim to be), I hold you to a slightly higher standard. ONLY SLIGHTLY, BUT STILL HIGHER.

The following is an actual conversation I had this weekend with someone who lives in my sleepy little college town:

*Conversation course: weather weather weather weather, last year’s summer was wimpy and cold*
Me: Yeah, I’m fine with it, though. I like cool weather. I’m saving it up for when I move to Africa in June.
Guy: AFRICA?
Me: *used to this reaction by now* Yeah, Africa.
Guy: I totally used to live in Africa!
Me: *excited* NO WAY! Really?? Me too! Where??
Guy: Lagunza
Me: Awesome, where’s that?
Guy: In … Africa.
Me: Right, what country?
Guy: The country of … Lagunza.
Me: Uh, ok. What part of Africa is that? Southern? West?
Guy: No
Me: North? East?
Guy: No
Me: So … central?
Guy: Yeah, that must be it.
Me: *blink*
Guy: It’s the part that was having the civil war.
Me: Which civil war?
Guy: The … African … Civil … War. The big one.
Me: *trying to laugh it off nicely* Yeah, I guess there’s a lot of political crap going down in a bunch of different countries at once.
Guy: Wait, what? There’s more than one?

. . .

Res ipsa loquitor.

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