Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm an American non-American

When I have been out meeting people, some have asked me where I'm from. About half the people I meet accept the answer "USA". But the other 50% look at me and shake their head and say something in their language that comes across as, "no you're not. What are you *really*?" And then I smile and say Korean (Coreana while I'm in Spain) because I half expected it and then they nod and smile saying "ahhh" because that's the answer they were looking for. I've had to look up how to say Korean in every language I've passed through this year.

If you saw a muted video of our conversation it would seem like I told a sarcastic joke and they caught me fibbing. Hehe

Of course I totally expected this before I started this trip. It's nothing surprising. It works in my favor anyway. Most of the time I prefer to tell people that I'm Korean, because "American" sparks emotion that can be good or bad depending on the person, but Korean is pretty neutral no matter what and is just safer on an averaged basis.


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