Monday, January 31, 2011

From the Other America

We can finally stop pretending we're Canadian.For some reason I cannot pinpoint, I'm constantly being mistaken for Spanish, Portuguese, even Brazilian.  The other day, the guess was Italian.  If I could figure out what I'm doing, I'd bottle it and sell it to  those American tourists desperately trying to hide their Americanness, lest that anyone associate them with their loud talking, French bashing, ill-mannered, and underdressed countrymen.

When I told the gentleman that I was American, his next question was, "From which city?  New York or Los Angeles?"  Too bad for the approximately 275 million other residents of the U.S. who, for this Frenchman, apparently do not count.

11 comments:

Cynthia said...

Americans should stop being ashamed of being American abroad! The French are in love with the United States even though they will not admit it!

Anne said...

Cynthia: I am always proud to be an American although sometimes disappointed how my country and countrymen sometimes behave. I have that very American quality of being optimistic -- of always hoping that we can do better in living up to our ideals and that we do so with humility.

Cynthia said...

There are rotten apples from every countries but every Americans I had the chance the encounter in Paris were discreet and seemed to enjoy themselves earnestly without being a bother to anyone :)

Plus I've met very loud obnoxious Canadians in the metro once ;)

Pamela said...

I will never understand when I hear that Canadians are somehow accepted more than Americans in Europe. Aren't Americans always the first to help when their in trouble?

And another misconception is that all Canadians speak French thanks to one little province here. A province that keeps threatening to separate!

Anne said...

Geez, did not realize I would be setting off a mini firestorm.

Cynthia: I think it's more of a mutual love/hate relationship, very complicated indeed.

Pamela: Historically, Americans have not always been the first to help when the French are in trouble. If anything, we would probably never won our independence from England without French military support. The U.S. did not enter World War I until 1917, three years after the fighting had begun and after terrible losses of life at battles of the Marne and Verdun, just to name a few. I don't say this to downplay the tremendous American effort in France in 1944 but still it's important to put it in perspective.

Anonymous said...

Almost 312 million americans according to Census.gov

Theresa said...

My experience was that once I said I was from California, I could only be from Los Angeles (Oh! Hollywood!) or San Francisco. ;o)

Mayfair hotels said...

You are right! There is nothing wrong with being who you are. You have to travel the world as a proud American.

croquecamille said...

That's interesting, I tend to get pegged as German, Polish, or Russian. Wonder where that comes from?

Anne said...

So Camille, if they guessed German, Polish or Russian for me, I could honestly say all of the above. The real question then is, do YOU happen to be of Spanish, Portuguese, or Brazilian heritage?!

Starman said...

Kind of like when Canadians state their country and we ask, Québec or Montréal?

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