Côte d’Ivoire is not next to Ghana (Apparently)

August 19, 2012

Some time ago, I think mid last year, I was working my previous job as a Customer Care Assistant at an Optometrist and a customer came into collect his glasses. He was probably over 60 and I think maybe his gestures or accent seemed African like. So I asked him where he was from.
He responded with ‘Côte d’Ivoire‘. And this is where the conversation got interesting!

Me: ‘Oh cool we are neighbours’.
Customer: ‘Where are you from?’
Me: ‘Ghana’.
Customer: ‘Ghana? Ghana is not next to Côte d’Ivoire’. (Raising his eyebrows as if I had just said the dumbest thing in the world)
Me: ‘Yes it is. Côte d’Ivoire then Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria’. (Trying to map it out with my fingers on the front desk)

He didn’t believe me. I gave him his glasses, told him what he needed to know about taking care of his glasses and let him go.

I was confused. Côte d’Ivoire is next to Ghana. It’s a fact! I know that! But I started to question myself and my knowledge. I went to Google for some geographical assurance. It reaffirmed what I had said. I honestly couldn’t believe that this man did not know that Ghana shared a border with his home country.

Every time I think of this incident I laugh, because he tried to make me look so dumb as if I hadn’t paid attention in geography class.
It’s unfortunate that I never saw him again. If I did see him again, I would ask;

‘Sir are you sure you sure you know where Côte d’Ivoire is and the countries that surround it? Since you don’t know. I have kindly printed a map of Africa and highlighted the neighbouring countries for you. Keep this in your wallet as a reminder!”.



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