I’m a Foreigner
There is a part of me that hopes to wake up one day and fit in effortlessly with Italian culture. Go have my cappuccino, speak effortlessly to everyone I pass by, and never give a second thought to peoples whispers and glances. However I would probably not be so intrigued by Italy if it were so easy.
Lately I’m feeling really detached from everything, friends, family, politics, and America in general. My friend Barbara said she thought I was French until she heard me speak which, I took as a compliment but it’s really more of an observation. I don’t really flaunt the fact that I’m an American.
Maybe I’ve been alienating myself too much from my country, maybe not openly expressing your from a country is worse than having it be obvious you’re from a place that you’re not especially proud of.
Is it all politics? Have I only become ashamed in the last eight years due to the distaste I have for the president? I wish I could lay all the blame on him but honestly I think he only added to my cause. Hamburgers, sweat pants, microwaves, and to go cups this is what first comes to mind when I think about America a few seconds later I think of hard work, rolling fields, Chevy trucks, and excellent barbeque.
Now keep in mind, I’m in the first cycle of living in Europe where everything seems better and more efficient. I know in a few months the pull of life long American habit will come (I have a strange craving for mac and cheese) and then the wishing (if only the showers were a little bigger) and finally full faced admitting it (I love it here but I need a fucking dryer that doesn’t cost me 6 Euro). By the way hardly anyone owns a dryer here.
Now, I’m just trying to figure out what it really means to me to be an American, certainly I am forever thankful for the amazing opportunities I’ve recieved simply from being born on US land but that doesn’t mean I am not critical of the abuse of power my countries leaders have made. I’m trying to find a good balance and spread the word to Europeans about the America I love and break some of the stereotypes that make me cringe. One thing is for sure, I’ll always be American.