Monday, September 24, 2007
An Arab fellow leaves his male pack and approaches me. He opens with, "So, are you German or are you American?" I am little taken aback, first, at the boldness with which he asks his question, but mainly at the thought that there are only two possible choices for me and they are either German or American. Why is it that when I travel or even when I don't no one ever asks me if I am Canadian as if that couldn't ever be a possibility? In any case, feeling rather singled out with no previous conversational lead up to this particular question, I reply, “Are you trying to determine my ethnicity, or would you like to know which country’s passport I carry?” Then it's his turn. He gives me a somewhat stunned look not quite sure what to say next, so I smile and shrug my shoulders. End of conversation. What would you have done?