Thoughts on Foreignness

One of the questions I hate the most is “Where are you from?”. I have an accent in every language I speak, I have two passports (could have had 3, had the communists not demanded us to give up the Russian passport when we left Soviet Union in 1991) and I spent my life across 3 different countries with very different cultures. The answer is therefore ambiguous. I don’t really feel Russian or American. If I say I am Israeli, I am told that I don’t look Israeli and then I have to explain I was born in Russia. If I say I am American, the American across from me immediately asks: “but where are you really from?”, and I have to cycle through the same explanation once more.

Once I move to Brazil, I think I will come up with a random story that I will tell everyone. I will say I am from Sri Lanka and my parents were ambassadors who adopted me from an undisclosed location and schooled me in American schools. I bet people would believe it.
I knew two girls in college who went to study abroad together in Australia and told everyone there that they are twin sisters from two different fathers, and people believed them! Even though one fo them was black and the other one was white and the only thing similar about their looks was their height!!!
Here is a cool article I saw someone link to on Facebook. It starts really well… “The desire of so many people, given the chance, to live in countries other than their own makes nonsense of a long-established consensus in politics and philosophy that the human animal is best off at home.”
Read the rest here.
By the way, the idea of writing this post came to me today after my Israeli friends were making fun of me for having a super strong American accent when I tried to explain something using English words to them. I could have put an ugly Israeli accent too but it felt stupid since I had never had one in English..
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