Tuesday, May 23, 2006

where at least I know I'm free

Prior my long trek about Mexico, I was very concerned about blending in. My work in this regard mostly involved bringing only one pair of shorts on the trip. Mexicans almost never wear shorts unless they're at the beach.

But when I arrived it was clear that the shape of the fabric that hung around my lower half was the least of my problems. Even if I could die my light brown hair and tan my skin, I could not rid myself of the six to twelve inch advantage I had over most of the women and many of the men.

The funnest part of our trip to Paris, besides the honeymoon bits and the picnic at the Eiffel Tower and the Indian restaurant and ... well another fun part of our trip was the fact that very few people immediately assumed that we were American. That felt like victory to me. I wanted to rub it in to the other Americans within earshot ("Ha ha! We win!! You suck.") but that flew in the face of my previously stated goal of avoiding them.

Also, being mistaken for a non-American is not all it is cracked up to be. People speak French to you. Rapidly. It is like learning how to swim by being tossed in a pond full of duckweed; if you kick too much, you're lost, but if you don't kick at all, you sink. In other words, my little victory was shortlived. Within 10 seconds of it, we had to je ne parl pas Francais (excuse the spelling if you know better and if you don't it means "I don't speak French") and admit defeat.

PLUS ... this is the important part ...

Why is it so important to me not to be seen as an American? I'm not sure Kurt felt the same way so I won't include him in this. But really in truly why did I care? I like being an American even when I don't like the current presidential administration. I like other Americans. All my best friends are Americans. Hell, all but two of my friends, best or not.


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