Samstag, 20. September 2008

"So how long did you live in Germany?"

I am starting to feel an identity crisis. This country is just so about labeling people and apparently, it is quite easy to fool them.

I went to a potluck party Thursday night. A Potluck is where everybody brings something to eat and/or drink and it is shared among all. It was at the house of the Director of English Graduate School, where I will take most courses. Some dishes were really fancy and the people also had a kind of fancy air to them. After days of international outgoingness that was kind of different. The people are working on their Master's or PhD and get a lot of money for that Thus, they are kind of pampered and since they are also hella smart (only 22 out of 500 applicants are accepted), they know what they are worth.

Anyway, I talked to them and it was nice to meet some Americans with common interests. What annoyed me though, was that never before had so many people asked me, if I was really German. I've heard many comments like "you don't have an accent at all" (yes, I have, only it is American) or "do you have American relatives", but never quite so much as that night. People seemed totally unable to believe that I could possibly German: "You don't even look German, at all. You look typically American" / "You don't like beer, are you sure you are German?"- and all that from grown up academics.

So what do I do? I miserably fail at faking a German accent, I just can't keep it up and it annoys the XXX out of me. Hence, the only way to get people to believe me is to talk about home. And at least that is a good thing, because as they are so puzzled, they actually listen to what I say. I get a chance to really represent a Germany far away from bratwurst, kraut, Oktoberfest, beer and soccer.

Take a crisis and make it an opportunity. Stay true to your own country!

Still, I was glad to meet up with my friends way later to hang out, because I finally had a chance to relax then without people caring where I come from!

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