England? Where's that at?

I remember years ago being astonished to meet someone who'd not only never read nor seen any of Shakespeare's plays, they didn't even recognize the name. I explained to myself that, well, I couldn't name a single Brazilian author, so why should a Brazilian know of Shakespeare?

I was surprised tonight, though, to meet someone who didn't know where England was. I've taken to saying "England" because "Britain" and "the UK" have a habit of being repeated back as "England?". (I've always disliked "England" because it seems so parochial. As if I'm distancing myself from our neighbors. I dislike "UK" both because it's not our ISO 3166 two-letter country code – we should be .gb – and because of its royalist implication, which offends me. I may be a citizen/subject of the United Kingdom, but I'm damned if I'm going to describe myself as such.)

Anyway, "England", I explained, "is in Europe". The look on her face said "Europe? Where's that at?", but she didn't put it in to words, and I didn't volunteer anything.

Weeks back, some old guy confidently informed his wife that I was from Montana. I wish I knew enough about local stereotypes to know if I should have been offended.