Who is an American?

Well, I’m finally back in London from my month long trip through Mediterranean Europe and as much fun as I had it sure is wonderful to be back. Luckily I have more work to do here in a month than I usually have at GW a semester, so the fact that I left Greece where it was, oh, 80 and perfect, for London where it is 65 and rainy (with an even grimmer 10 day forecast) doesn’t seem to bug me that much – I work better when its raining anyway.

I had an amazing time on my trip; I got to see so many different cultures, from chic Zürich with its countless jazz bars to laid back Crete where I got closer to a wild peacock then I thought possible – take a look at the photo I snapped of this little boy taking a picture (who looks strangely like my cousin when he was 10):

There was one thing I found especially interesting about Greece however (it may just be because I’m a cultural studies major) but I thought I would see what other people had to say on the topic:

One of my friends who I traveled with is an American with Vietnamese ancestry. If a Greek asked us where we were from and we answered “Oh, we’re from the States” they would look directly at my friend and ask “no, really, where are you from?” Eventually after responding, “I’m from California” numerous times, she realized the only way to satisfy her questioners was to say “but my family is originally from Vietnam.”

The Greeks (at leasts the ones we talked to on the subject) seemed to think that despite the fact that she was born and raised in America she wasn’t American – she was Vietnamese.

Considering we had spent about the same amount of time traveling through Switzerland and part of Italy without encountering a similar mindset, I thought I would see if anyone else had any thoughts or experiences on the topic.

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