A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

its a small world; or, do all expats look alike?

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on January 23, 2008

It happened again a few days ago: I was mistaken for someone else.

When I gave the locker attendant my gym ID card, she said: Madame, this isn’t your card.

Oh? I asked. Whose card is it, then?

She shrugged and said: it is another lady’s.

I don’t often go around exchanging ID cards with other women, so I raised my eyebrows. Does this mean you gave me another woman’s card the last time I was here?

In order to get a day locker, I hand over my gym ID. When I leave, I get my ID back. A simple system, but sometimes it goes awry.

She shrugged again, and suggested that I should be able to solve the problem myself.

She is also foreign. You can call her and see whether she has your card.

I sighed. These are two of my least favorite assumptions about Westerners in Lebanon: that we all look alike and that we all know one another. I have never been given a Lebanese woman’s ID card, but this was the third time that I had been given a European/North American woman’s card.

Perhaps if I dye my hair purple I will be more recognizable. Or, better yet, I could follow my mother’s DIY tip for distinguishing keys on a ring: dot them with nail polish.

The next time I go to the gym, my ID card will have had a fresh manicure🙂.

2 Responses to “its a small world; or, do all expats look alike?”

  1. nicolien said

    Ouff. I agree with your second least favorite assumption (I am constantly asked to introduce people to my foreign friends – which i don’t have). But the first one… I wish. I still have people come up to me and tell me where they’ve seen me before – a year and a half ago, at some random party! Just my luck…

  2. Purnima said

    That was a hilarious write-up..swapping of id card’s, you all know each other well!🙂 I would surely love to see how a manicured card looks like, provided you hv manicured yours! :D(You have a lovely blog here, glad to have chanced upon it.)

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