Useful Advice for Americans Faced by Possibly Hostile Iraqis: Pretend to be Canadian

From VF’s otherwise very interesting piece about the NYTimes’ Baghdad bureau:

After prayers ended, as Tavernise and her interpreter finished up their work, an English-speaking Iraqi came over and asked me where I was from. “Canada,” I said. I’d been prepped. “Canada?” he replied. “My cousin lives in Canada. She lives in the capital. Where do you live?” My heart began to race. I couldn’t remember what the capital of Canada was and didn’t want to risk a conversation about a specific neighborhood.

“Toronto?” I replied tentatively. “Yes. I live in Toronto.”