This isn’t the best photo I’ve ever taken, but it does reflect my state of mind last night. Blurry.
After traveling for many hours and getting absolutely no sleep, I got settled in my room at the hotel here on Malta and wandered out to see where I had landed. There were so many people taking in the sights along the Mediterranean; old boats, clear water, restaurants and the normal sights you find in any tourist destination.
I stopped at a place for a glass of wine, where the bartender asked where I was from. When I said the states, he said “oh, too bad. We don’t like people from the states” and then smiled an apologetic smile… Then he said he had thought I must be from Bali or someplace peaceful like that, but I’ll do even though I’m American.
Usually I would ask more questions, like “why don’t you like Americans?”, but I really didn’t need to. Our reputation is one of aggression I suppose so I guess it makes sense, but I did feel taken aback. It was one of those times where becoming defensive would not have been a good idea and being embarrassed about my heritage equally ridiculous. I’m me, not a person who agrees with everything our country does but I’m also not someone who feels my country is bad, either. Sure didn’t take long for me to have to navigate perceptions though.
As for being from some island country… it must be the hair, or possibly because I do look fairly easy going. Still, I find that wherever I go, people think I live there already or I’m from someplace different than where I actually live.
While I ate dinner and struggled to stay awake, I felt like I could be anywhere. People are the same no matter where we go even if we all feel like we’re different.
One family of humans… yet, we struggle with each other and draw lines in the sand about who’s “right” and who’s “wrong”…