Thursday, October 09, 2008


It's my 400th post, and I've been thinking recently that the name of this blog has held less and less meaning, other than my recent flurry of ramblings from Africa. So, I decided to think about what it means to be a (non-trying to live here forever, Homeland Security Authorities) foreigner living here, and hopefully the next posts will be more about this. Some serious, some less so - and also not just along the theme of "Americans are crazy/stupid/obese/obsessed with [insert stereotype here]." Because, for better or worse, this has been my home for four years now, and I feel a great deal of affection for the country and its people.* But I feel, nonetheless, that no matter how long I live here, I will never, ever feel American; I won't class myself as that; and that's something that I need to explore - which was the point of the blog, really.

However, I make these grand proclamations, but here are ten ways in which I am far, far, far more American than I ever thought possible:
  1. I not only see the point of wellies in an urban environment, I am considering buying a pair with woolly insides and polar bears on them. From J Crew. Ye gods.
  2. I voluntarily make myself egg-white only breakfasts.
  3. Related, to no. 2, I am under 30 and know my cholesterol level.
  4. Related to no. 2 again, I like American bacon.
  5. I describe not just baby animals, but outfits / people / houses / films as "cute." I also use the word "awesome" in a non-ironic manner. I high-five, too.
  6. When I say "the Times" I mean the NY Times as well as THE Times.
  7. I think Lewis Black is hilarious. You might do, too, but it took me a long time to "get" his humour, which I think is pretty darned American.
  8. I think a mere weeks of "vacation" is generous of my employer.
  9. I watch college American Football. On Monday mornings I even check the AP Poll to see the rankings, and I have an opinion on the end of season Bowl picks. That really is excessive.
  10. I buy pointlessly stupid-looking squash as decorations in Autumn.

Yep, pretty yankeefied, don't you think?

*Less so this morning after listening to a couple of minutes of the NewsHour featuring reporters from Ohio and Pennsylvania who could tell stories of how people wanted their names published in the paper to state to all and sundry that they would never vote for a black man. I know, I know, only yesterday I promised I wouldn't do it anymore.

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