Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Like the Continent
“Like the country?” Yes, dear friends, this is the response I hear most often when I tell people my name. This is discouraging because not only is Asia not a country, it is the biggest not-a-country landmass in the world. It almost makes me agree with Miss South Carolina that Americans need more maps. I tell these “Asia is a country” believers that it is, in fact, a continent. They then laugh at their mistake and I wait patiently for us to move onto another subject.
Some other, more informed people say “Like the continent?”, though this question isn’t as fun, nor is my response to them.
I once got a “Like the band?” and that was exciting because yes, there is a fantastically awful 80’s band called Asia and yes, my name is spelled and pronounced the same way. I bought their CD once so I wouldn’t be found ignorant of all things Asia, but found them to be similar to, but not as good as Kansas. Kansas, by the way, is a state.
I’ve had Asian people think I was messing with them and American people say “But seriously, what’s your name?” People ask if I’ve ever been to Asia, if I was born in Asia, or super awkwardly – if I was conceived in Asia. I will have you know that the one time I did go to Asia, no one commented on my name. At least not that I understood.
Some people just say “That’s pretty,” which I appreciate, and some people don’t comment at all, bless their hearts.
I’ve had many encounters with people regarding my name: misspellings, mispronunciations (a substitute physics teacher once called me Isaiah) and a great variety of jokes. Or rather 200 versions of the same joke. It restores my faith in humanity that calling me Africa hasn’t lost its charm and that Asia Minor is still referenced by today’s youth. I’m used to these jokes and have learned to let them roll off my back like water on a duck. I really like the duck analogy and using it reminds me of a time my brother acted it out to demonstrate the value of the principle. Speaking of which, my brothers have way cooler names than I do, but for the sake of narcissism I won’t mention them at this time.