Monday, March 15, 2010
Back and Proud
You know you're in Italy when the first odor you smell walking off the plane is a the deep must of parfume, espresso and cigarettes, which for me, says nothing more than "welcome home". I can't believe two and a half weeks went by that fast, can't imagine how I'm going to feel when I'm 90 (I hope I'm not being too optimistic with that number), but there is just something about Italy that I love. Besides my wonderful boo residing here, there is just an elegance to the people; their humor, way of living and eating- all worth adapting. But of course there is the wonderful, unique United States, which I always miss while being here in Italy. As the country of which I grew up in and lived my whole life, I can definatly say that I think as an American and act as an American because that is indeed who I am, a flippin' American. I was utterly shocked while traveling this past trip, primarily going through Paris' airport, bearing my passport in hand with the silver stamp of "United States of America" and national eagle daringly exposed to all, and I guess for all to judge. Holding my passport felt as if I had the swatstica tattooed across my forehead. Many people, between security guards, boarder patrol, and travelers, were literally staring at me, all in far too many ways to decifer what their glares was actually intending. Did I not seem/look/or talk like an American? Was it because I was put together and didn't look like a hot-mess? Was I just "annoying" because that's where I came from? (Or maybe I was taking it all wrong and really had a bugger coming out of my nose.... but I doubt it.) Whatever the reason may had been, holding a United States passport should NEVER be something to be ashamed of. I hate it when people ask me if I say that I'm from Canada or if I make any other avoidance in saying that I'm from the States. It's an awful way to represent one's country and it only carries on the poor representaton that Americans receive while traveling. What does it mean when people say "Oh, wow, you don't seem American?" or "Your not like most American's are you?" WTF!!!! Yes I do and Yes I am!!! Personally I hate stereotypes (a part from stand-up comedy, then they're o.k.), they're offensive and just ignorant. It's like when people say to a well spoken African Americans that they don't seem "black". Just like within all the other countries in the world, people are different amongst each other, with different opinions, different styles, different eating habits, education, etc. Why can't that be the same in the States? The media and Hollywood's propaganda are definitely the major part of this problem of this poor representation of the American people; therefore it's our responsibility to help change the way people judge and perceive us. I mean why can't the rest of the world think of us as Michelle Obama, Oprah, or the fabulous Ellen DeGeners rather than Rush Limbaugh?