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Stop calling me dilligent!

When sitting on my usual post selling bread and knitwear (this somehow sounds very much like Dickens) an elderly gentleman stopped to talk to me.
I usually knit when selling, because otherwise the whole operation can get quite boring quickly. He spoke to me in the usual super fast Chilean Spanish, so I did not catch everything he said, but very quickly the conversation took a familiar turn, one I pretty much know by heart in several languages by now. He congratulated me on being so diligent.
In this case he was referring to having see me knit the last few days. On other occasions I encountered this reaction due to language skills (especially in Iceland). Hearing that I'm German triggered an additional preconception, which had risen now to two.
1. That I'm anything different than a lazy ass
2. That being hard working is something characteristically German -> (statistics help!)
These two preconceptions lead to the utterly wrong conclusion about my point of view on certain matters. This time the opinion imposed on me was a liking for authoritative regimes.
It started of with "everything was better under Pinochet" and went on with the Chilean disregard for traffic rules. He pointed to the One-Way-Street sign people kept ignoring and said in China they would not dare to do that. I almost fell of the wall laughing. If there is one political lesson I learned in China than it's that living in a dictatorship does not improve driving etiquette.
Apart from that, I felt quite insulted and uncomfortable by the presumption tied to this conversation, especially as my language skills are not adequate to correct them.
But even if they were, when I encountered this kind of behaviour in Iceland, then it usually referred to thinking I share their Xenophobia, I found it hard to disentangle the opinion from the virtue it got attached to. "Being a hard working German (with blue eyes!) here in Iceland you must also dislike all the other lazy, different looking foreigners." Or in this case "You diligent, disciplined German must dislike all these loitering, lazy bohemians. Order we need order!"
So for now, to avoid these kind of accusations I insist on being called a lazy ass!
And I would have never wanted to live in Chile under Pinochet (to state the obvious).
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