Three tell-tale signs, in case you’re having an identity crisis while living or traveling abroad:

1. Your friends and colleagues call/ email/ come by to wish you a Happy Holiday on the 4th of July (unironically).

Image credit: Awesome DC.

Image credit: Awesome DC.

2. When someone around you goes on a rant against ‘stupid Americans,’ they make a point to look at you and say, “no offense to you.”

Image credit: China Divide.

Image credit: China Divide.

3. You are considered the ultimate authority on the Electoral College and Congressional stalemates despite your best efforts to refer the befuddled ones to Wikipedia, because they “want to hear it like it is.”

Image credit: Politico.

Image credit: Politico.

Check, check, and check!

32 thoughts on “HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE AN AMERICAN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. I think you’re more American than we are at this point. #2 is sad…I don’t want to go back to that! And we stop #3 in it’s track – ‘nope. we’re on vacation. no politics from us.’

  2. They are amazed when a) you’re not 1000 lbs overweight, b) you speak more than one language, c) you appreciate and are maybe even a fan of soccer or Formula 1.

    • Well, 1-I am fatter than everyone in my department (17 ppl), 2-I speak less languages than at least half of my non-editorial co-workers, and 3-I am still only barely familiar with soccer and F1 is still not huge here, for comparison sake. So, yeah… very American!

    • Actually I have noticed the Britification or Europeanization of my English bc of the other expats here… and also, I still remember the days when I spelled everything with a U by default (bc that’s how we learned it here) and America had to set me straight!

  3. I’m an American living in London. When people think I’m Canadian I don’t really correct them. They are surprised that I follow football (soccer) and tennis. They usually say, “But I thought you said you’re American.” And I don’t smoke. When they offer me a cigarette I say no thanks. Again I get, “But I thought you’re American. According the movies, all of you smoke.”

    • Wow, that’s funny, bc Russian perception of Americans is that they are all health nuts (except for the super fat ones) who are very anti-smoking. You might want tell Londoners that it’s illegal to smoke practically anywhere in NYC now (even many residential buildings – in your own apartment!) thanks to Mayor B!

      • I thought the same thing: Americans =s health nuts. I was shocked that I’m supposed to be a smoker. I should admit, occasionally I’ll have one, but that’s like once a year. And I think I missed my annual cig last year. So maybe every two years now.

        Can you still smoke on the street or do you have to be standing in the middle of an intersection praying you don’t get hit while taking a hit?

        • You cant be within X feet of a whole big-ass list of buildings (offices, government, schools, etc etc etc). Preferably you should be hovering 600 feet in the air somewhere.

          • You’re right. You see, I can’t control the American in me πŸ˜‰ By the way, I love NYC. We try to get there once a year for the US Open and to catch a show or two. Great town and I would move there in an instant.

          • I was born in California. Moved to Colorado when I was a teen. Lived in Boston for six years. Now I’m in London. I keep moving east. I wonder if I’ll end up where I started.

            How long have you been in NY?

          • Next stop – Moscow?
            Really, you’re all-American!
            I was in NYC for nearly 7 yrs (right before Moscow), in DC & DC area for about 5, the rest of the time in Rhode Island.

  4. Didn’t visit Rhode Island much when I lived in Boston. I wish I had. When I moved there I thought I would be living there for years and years. Now I’m in London and I’m thinking I should see the sights more just in case we move again. Not ready for another big move just yet though.

    • That’s exactly how I am approaching life now – see and do everything in the city before you leave. I went to 3 broadway musicals in my life, two of which – when came to NYC this May for a week.

  5. I love that Africa isn’t on that map, haha. The other day we were playing a game where you name things in a category and I said “African countries” as the category and it lasted roughly 7 countries. Which is supremely sad.

    I agree with the person who said that people assume we know nothing of football. One of my students today asked me if I liked football and I said sure and he insisted that I understood that he meant the soccer football, not the American football. He didn’t seem to believe that I even knew what soccer football was.

    • Ooooh, there will be some notes on Thanksgiving, and they will probably land me in some hot water πŸ™‚ I think being asked about Thg applies more to Americans considering you one of their own (rather than Russians, who are generally unaware of that holiday), BUT – last year I did get asked about who I am rooting for in the SuperBowl by my Russki colleagues!

      • And you said the Niners, of course *raises one eyebrow as high as it will go.* The one area in which I am solely ethnocentric is American football as it pertains to the Niners.

        ps – if it was the Niners, my condolences. I am still recovering.

        • I dont even know what Niners are. This is who I know (and by ‘know’ I mean ‘have heard of a few times to retain’): NE Patriots, NYYankees, NYMets, Orioles (who for 5 yrs I thought were Oreos, like the cookie), Boston Bruins, LA Lakers, NYNicks, something Jets, Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Socks. Chicago Bulls. Chicago Bears? And LeBron used to play for Cleveland something. Judge away πŸ™‚

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