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I confuse people

Three recent incidents.

First one
Student: Where are you from?
Me: South Africa.
Student: Eeeh! Your face is white!
Me (in my head): Bleach, young man, bleach. Works wonders.

Second one
I do a presentation at a seminar. Afterwards another presenter (he's American) approaches me.
Him: Where are you from?
Me: You're trying to place my accent, right?
Him: Yes, that's right.
Me: Take a wild guess.
Him: OK! I'd say one parent is British and the other parent is ... Scandinavian?
Me: Nope. Half German, half Dutch with a pinch of Italian for volatility, but always 100% African.

Third one
My lord & master surveys me as if he were a psychiatrist and I were a particularly vexing client.
Him: Hmm.
Me: What?
Him: You don't speak Afrikaans like a real Afrikaans person.
Me: What?!
Him: Your "r" is too soft.
Me: I'm from the Cape, not Trônsvôl! I speak a civilised language!
(Cape Town and Johannesburg, which lies in an area that used to be called Transvaal, are a bit like Kyoto and Tokyo. Cape Town has the culture; Johannesburg has the money; they regard each other with grave misgivings.)

Completely arbitrary addition 1
Every so often I'm reminded that I'm not the same person who arrived in Japan in 2005. The biggest difference is in my head, but practically speaking there's also been progress. Just yesterday above-mentioned lord & master commented that Iruma Air Base in Saitama has become noticeably noisier since North Korea started throwing its toys out of its cot. That reminded me of the first time I went to Inariyama-kōen Station to meet m'lud at the Iruma Air Show. I'd been in Japan for perhaps two months. I caught the wrong train from Tokyo to Saitama, I got lost at various stations, I earned a scolding, I had a bruised ego and was mad at him for being mad at me. (This was before smartphones and Google Maps!) Now I travel without maps, barely blink when there's a delay and can easily figure out another route in my head.

Completely arbitrary addition 2
I'm busy with a dangerous experiment. I've run out of hay fever medicine, and I've decided to attempt life without replenishment. This year my allergy has been remarkably mild, although pollen levels have been higher than normal. I've read that you can outgrow hay fever. Could this be it? Let's see. If it isn't, oh, the horror, the horror that awaits!

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How in heaven's name did Edo travellers walk long this road …


over this pass …

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