aryanhwy: (Default)
[personal profile] aryanhwy
This week I've had two different encounters where someone attempted to extrapolate my occupation on the basis of a few pieces of information.

Sunday night we were having a late supper having arrived in Paris around about 7pm French time. We were sitting in the outdoor seating that was just across the sidewalk from the restaurant when a little boy who'd been sitting in the restaurant with his parents came over to us and asked "Do you speak English?" We said yes, and he scampered off, and then after a bit of reassurance from his parent, came back and asked if Gwen wanted to play. So that ended up being a real boon, they ran races up and down the sidewalk and then sat near our table and played games on his dad's phone, and this kept her occupied and not cranky until our food came. When his parents came to collect him, we chatted a bit, and the mother commented that Gwen had been doing very well with the adding and subtracting game, and then asked if we were mathematicians! I said "yes", because, basically, we are, and then -- this is what I thought most interesting -- she immediately made the inference that I worked at a university, and asked which one.

It makes me wonder. Is there anyone who would describe themselves/their occupation as "a mathematician" who doesn't work at a university?

Today at lunch our waiter turned out to be American, and we chatted a bit off and on, and when Joel paid with our German credit card, the waiter said something about "Germans living in England with American accents!" and we said "Americans who've lived in The Netherlands, Germany, and England," his diagnosis of why we were peripatetics was -- "Are you archaeologists?"

I wonder how he came up with that one.
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