America is known as the melting pot. Most of the people you pass on the street have some kind of cultural mix that makes it almost impossible to know where they’re really from. I’m an Asian American, which means that I look Asian, but I definitely associate as an American.
When I moved to Spain, a lot of people assumed that I was Asian, but then there were those who knew instinctively that I wasn’t. In fact, there were times when people would pass by me and make a face, and say the one word: American.
I could never figure out how they knew. Most of the time, I wouldn’t be talking to a friend, and I wouldn’t be doing anything that seemed remotely American, but somehow they all knew.
After marrying my husband, and after many years of marriage, I think I’ve figured it out. It’s because of how I dressed. It wasn’t that I was a slob, but it turns out that Americans do tend to dress down compared to other countries. They could tell by my ratty tennis shoes, and lack of fashion that I was an American.
|Can you spot the Americans?|
Hubby still comments on it every once in a while. He’ll let me know that I can wear something nicer, or that I don’t need to wear something that’s old, especially if it looks worn. One of his favorite phrases is, “Just because we don’t have money doesn’t mean we have to look it.”
I can’t count the number of times that I went to school at my University and most of the students are still in their pajamas. Or in sweats and sandals. And now that I think back on it, when I went to the university in Spain, the only ones who dressed that way were the Americans. They didn’t mind going to the grocery store dressed down. It’s just the grocery store. I know I’ve had that thought when going to class. Would anyone actually notice if I’m wearing the same sweatshirt all week? It’s nice and warm, and that’s all I care about.