“What is Aleppo?” News junkies recall that Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson, was lost in space, as it were, when he was asked about what should be done for this besieged city at the epicenter of Syria’s civil war. I don’t think it is right to rebuke, much less ridicule, someone for this transitory disconnect from time and place. It happens. It happened to me when I woke up at night and couldn’t find my bedside lamp or make my way in the dark to the bathroom — until I realized I was in a hotel room.
“Are you married?” No. “Do you have children?” No. “Do you have girlfriends?” No. Our tour guide, Tina, was puzzled. Who were these three dabizi (da-bee-zee, foreigners, literally “big nose”) she was leading on a tour of Beijing?