Tell me about it. I know you will.
I posted earlier today about a lovely evening we had yesterday with our current and former housemates. Upon reflection later today however, a couple of points in the conversation have raised my dander. Two different people we met for the very first time last night learned we are Americans and immediately commented on international political topics.
Situation number one:
Oh, you’re from America? That’s nice. I was just in the U.S. for the first time earlier this year. Can you believe I had to go through immigration and reclaim my luggage and re-check in to my flight to continue on my itinerary to Panama? It was a major pain!
Situation number two:
Do I detect a bit of an accent? American perhaps? Yes, I thought so. You know they killed those German hostages in Afghanistan. It’s been confirmed.
For reference, Mr. #2 was talking about this story. I had only a vague recollection of the issue; I’m not sure how well informed I am compared to other Americans living overseas. Has this story made news in the USA at all?
Fortunately after the awkwardness that initially followed both situations, I didn’t feel attacked or otherwise singled out, and the rest of the evening was quite enjoyable (to give you an idea, I slept in until almost 10 a.m., and I’m always out of bed by 7:30 — even on Sundays!). I just wish that when we identify our nationality, the first association people make would change from war and terrorism and President Bush and energy consumption to something
- I’d rather talk about, and
- that doesn’t make me feel like I’m supposed to offer an explanation or apology.
Sometimes I want to turn around and ask them if they knew anyone who’d ever been trapped aboard a hijacked plane or right in the middle of enjoying a nice morning cup of coffee (admittedly, the coffee’s better here) when one of said planes makes an unscheduled stop. Or if they could imagine what it’s like to represent a country whose leader was not their choice and whose actions had a deep and lasting impact on their national reputation. How about it, deutsche Freunde? Wouldn’t that be a bitter pill to swallow?