Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I can't believe I forgot this one!

So, I just remembered another name that I'm called. One that I hear literally everyday. Spoken by people I know. My name in Ghana is almost always transformed into Kelvin. There are no Kevins in Ghana, but there are Kelvins.

When I am asked my name, I say Kevin, and the person almost invariably says, "Nice to meet you, Kelvin".

When I first arrived in Ghana, I would try to correct people. I would say, "No, it's Kevin", and would receive strange looks in response. When I have to go through the inane rigors of Ghanaian bureaucrac I say and then spell my name for people, but it inevitably comes back misspelled as Kelvin.

I've come to accept my new name, so much so that it doesn't even occur to me that it isn't my name.

Another variation on Kelvin I've been called, and by more that one person, is Kelvin Klein. You know, like Calvin Klein, the fashion designer known most famously for his line of underwear.

This name confuses me and makes me laugh for a number of reasons. It's a bit like a strange game of 6 degrees of separation. A lost in translation nickname that I think about, and laugh, every time I slip into my Calvins.


Kate said...

i love that you accidentally called it the 'bureaucrac' - perfect! like a cracked bureaucracy. i also like bureaucrazy.

Philip said...

Wasn't Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future" also named Calvin after his underwear? You're in good company!