Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Actual conversation at work today - sort of

Part 1: Actual conversation

H.U.: One place in the world I have never wanted to travel is Africa.

Kiapita: Really? I would think you'd love the Great Lakes region. There's so many kinds of flowers around there, and one of the highest concentrations of bird species in the world.

H.U.: Australia, New Zealand - not Africa.

Kiapita: Huh. That surprises me. I guess you have to get more vaccines.

H.U.: No, it's not that. I'm just not the safari type.

Part 2: Conversation as it continued in my head

Kiapita: Right, because the entire continent of Africa is one big savannah for safari-ing. I mean, there aren't even different countries in it with different topographies and climates. It's just - argh - one huge undistinguishable, tediously monotonous mass.

H.U.: Yeah. I'm not fond of lions and giraffes and half-dressed, dark-skinned savages.

Kiapita: Thank God there aren't many black people left in Australia.

Alternative Part 2: Conversation as it continued in my head, following a different stream

Kiapita: You do know that "safari" just means "journey," right?

H.U.: Oh, of course. I just meant that I don't like grasslands and native guides.

Kiapita: You do know that Africa has more than grasslands, right? I'll ignore the comment about native guides, because I've heard you swoon about your French guides every time you go to Paris.

H.U.: And I'll ignore your comment about native guides, too. But, no, I can't think of anything other than grasslands that Africa might have. Other than dengue fever.

Kiapita: Funny you mention dengue fever. Did you know it has epidemic status in northeastern Australia?

H.U.: Is that where all the black natives live?

Kiapita: They make up about 3.6% of the population in that area of the country. Less than a third of all Australian Aborigines live in the northeast.

H.U.: Huh.

Kiapita: Huh.

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