Saturday, September 15, 2012

don't look American

We went to the Big E for an un-stressing session, much needed after this long, complicated week. We arrived in the middle of a parade and some people were walking around giving out American flags. They offered Dean one. OK... and me?
No, of course they did not offer me an American flag! I don't look American, do I?
Well, obviously not. Since the flag guy walked right by me, without even wondering whether or not I might want a flag.
No one thinks I am American.
But no one ever even suspects I am Brazilian.
Should I mention the amount of people that come to me speaking Spanish as if it was the most natural thing in the world to assume I can reply?
At the subway station, at the Mexican restaurant, at the train station, at Walmart, at the airport ... you name it. Some Spanish-speaker is bound to come to me and try striking a conversation as if it were an obvious, unquestionable fact that I am one of them.
Everyone looks at me and immediately thinks, "Mexican!" "Puerto Rican!" "Hispanic of some sort!"and opens his Spanish dam on me.
Why does it not occur to anyone that I might be from Brazil?
You know, Brazil! That ridiculously huge spot that takes over the majority of the South American map. Right! It's not just a black hole! It's an actual country. I could be from there. Does it not occur to anyone? Oh, of course not. After all, we are only the 5th largest country in the world.
Why does it not occur to anyone that I might be Brazilian and actually speak Portuguese?
Don't take me wrong. I am proud of my language skills. And I love to show off and let people know that I can speak 4 languages.
But I do have a problem with the assumption. Don't assume I can speak your language. That's when I'll try my best ignorant Brazilian accent and go like "No hablo español!"

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