I posted this on Facebook:"Remember that annoying eye doctor I told you about? The one who asks me every year (whenever I go for an eye exam) about Beirut? Every year whenever I go for my eye exam he asks me: where are you from originally? And I say Lebanon. And then he says: oh, it is terrible there. Oh, it must be violent there. Year after year, I have to go through this, and I can't take it anymore. And every year I realize that he forgot our last conversation a year ago. And I always have to answer him that he is mistaken about his perceptions. But I can't be too firm or too nasty with him because my delicate eyes are in his hands and near his sharp metal objects. But I have had it with him. I was prepared this year. I go in this afternoon and he says: you are from Lebanon, right? I said: yes. He says: it is a mess there, right? I said: not at all. It is safer than any American city. I went on (with plenty of exaggerations): people in Lebanon don't even lock their doors or cars. It is that safe. He then asks: but they did not rebuild Lebanon. I said: no, they did (I did not share my opinion about the lousy reconstruction plans of Beirut). He then stopped. But that was not enough: he goes on to tell me that he worked for five years in Cape Town, South Africa. I braced myself. He said that he visited last year for the first time in 45 years. He said that he was "surprised" that things did not "get worse". He said that he found out that things are the same. I said: they are not the same, Apartheid is gone. He said: oh, yeah, there are political changes. I said: and social changes. He said: yes, there is "black rule" now. I said: no, there is majority rule now. He said: oh, yes. He then felt awkward and asked: have you traveled anywhere recently? I said: i just returned from Morocco and immediately interjected: it is very safe and vary calm--in case you are wondering. I am not seeing this doctor again, and it is high time for him to retire. I am willing to buy his retirement plastic watch for him." And then I heard from one of my former student. It turned out that the same doctor told her recently upon hearing that she was in Hawaii: ""there are no Arabs clubbing you on the head.""