…and no, I´m not talking about the baseball team.
It´s hard to escape the fact that yes, I am an American citizen, born and bred. But it´s never come to my attention so frequently and forcibly as in the three years or so that I spent in Spain. I don´t confront the scrutiny as much as I think I would in a smaller village or out in the country since, hello, I live in the capital city of a modern country, and many of the big city dwellers have made it across the pond to visit my homeland. So they can relate. But nonetheless, I still find myself constantly defining and redefining what I am and how it relates to my native culture, all the while trying to stave off typical comments from the typical Spaniards about how the typical United States citizen typically acts.
There are some people here that are obsessed with the American culture. I have met more than a few who would drop their current lives here to have a shot at living and working in the United States. I don´t know what it is that makes them want to live there so badly – if it´s the big cties, big cars, big houses, expansive stretches of land, outrageous selection of restaurants, or the fact that capitalism, despite its many negative aspects, allows people by its very nature to succeed and live fabulously and successfully, creating a potentially more comfortable level of income than in other more socialized countries? But on the other hand, there are throngs of people ready in the wings to try and make me feel bad about who I am, what my forefathers did, or how America’s politics and international behavior in general is ruining everything globally.
So what does it mean to be an American in Spain (or abroad, in general?)
I want to know your opinions. Leave a comment about your experiences how you were treated, or are currently being treated, as an American ex-pat. Anecdotes requested, criticisms accepted, rude comments discouraged, however, all opinions welcomes.