We’re super romantic in the Balkans
We’re super romantic in the Balkans
My sister will be spending her 3rd year of high school somewhere in the US this year! She will be coming in August. We’re still waiting for the agency to find the finalists a host family, so as of now, we have no idea where in the US she’ll be. I’m hoping it won’t be the Midwest, or the South. Or anything else uncool and irrelevant… Anyway. I’m super excited for her to come. I’m very proud of my sister, not only for this achievement, but for everything that she’s done and become. She’s only 17 and sometimes I feel like she’s my older sister… I want her to meet everyone here. Oh, also, I don’t wanna sound ungrateful, but I really really reaaalllllyyyy hope she doesn’t end up being hosted by a crazy Christian family… But even if she did, I’m sure she’d handle it well!
Recently, a friend of mine, Emi, asked me to give her some photos of New York, so I went through my albums to look for ones you can’t find just by Googling. Just like foreigners usually have a misconception of the US, they also have a misconception of New York; namely that it’s only Manhattan. I wanted to represent it better. Here are some of what I sent:
Over a week ago, I witnessed a dine and dash for the first time. Here they call it a “sinpa” as in sin pagar. I was with two friends of mine getting dinner, and towards the end of our meal, the owner/hostess of the restaurant sends me a message via LINE after becoming suspicious.
After I’ve convinced my friends to stay until they close at midnight (normal in Barcelona), we overhear the two guys complaining about the food. “Mira, hay pelo…”, they say. They say there were also bugs in another dish, after they’ve eaten at least half of the food already. It’s become clear that they were up to no good and had no intention of paying. Eventually, the chef comes out and offers to change a dish or just pay and leave without causing any more trouble. After some arguing ensues, the hostess says she’s going to call the police to come sort it out before anything escalates. Meanwhile, one of my friends is physically keeping distance between the elderly chef and these two customers. My other friend has sneaked outside to call the local police as well. One of them eventually decides he wants to walk out for a smoke. The other tries to follow immediately, but I tell him that one of them should obviously stay. As he trailed behind the first guy, I was forced to physically come behind him and the exit. A tiny bit of a struggle ensues between us where I have a somewhat firm grasp on his jacket. The other tries to pull his friend away before raising a nearby wooden pillar about to strike me, but never does it. His jacket eventually rips on the side and I was unable maintain my grip. I couldn’t stop either one of them without resorting to other more drastic methods (I’m unfamiliar with Spanish laws), and they fled.
The police arrive fashionably late, and we show them a photo where they’re in the background. However, as I suspected, the police couldn’t really do anything about it. It was at least 44 Euros of food. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, fortunately. I’m still shocked more than anything that people could do this to a family-owned restaurant. I regret not having a better photo of them…
Europe: “You’re American? But your face… But originally where are you from? But you must have Asian descent! In the movies… Immigrants weren’t in America first. All Americans are from England. I thought they were taller and fatter. I’ve never been to California. I’ve never been to Chinatown. If I’m not Spanish, then you can’t be American. We don’t have a race problem.”
“Eres estadounidense? Pero tienes rasgos… Tus padres son japoneses no? Por qué puedes usar palillos? Puedes leer esto (Kanji)? No tenemos un problema racial.”
Asia: “You’re American? Your English is so good, are you Korean/Japanese? You must be ‘mixed blood’. Americans all have blonde hair. Why aren’t you fatter? But in the movies… That’s why your skin is lighter; I wish I was as light-skinned. Your hair is too dark. Your skin isn’t white enough. Obama is African, not American, just like you’re Asian. We don’t have a race problem.”
I don’t think in any way that the US is perfect, but race is something to be discussed and not swept under the rug. . Welcome to the New World. African American history is just American history. Asian American is just American. Latino American is American. European American is just American. Only Native Americans don’t deserved to be questioned about where they’re from.