Monday, June 23, 2008

Post Titled: wundepunkte

We met a girl from Kyrgyzstan the other day, what was odd about that: from the getgo she figured out that my companion was American, and therefore he MUST know about the very important U.S. Military Base in Kyrgyzstan due to its strategic importance. Overhearing this I realized that I didn't know ANYTHING about Kyrgyztan OR the base so I was able to buffer my American ignorance of geography for the next hour as we spoke mostly German, (after all: why would a GERMAN know anything about a U.S. Base in Kyrgyzstan?) and somehow a German being ignorant of where and what the country was did not fulfill such a fat stereotype... then finally somehow my cover was blown. Or I just admitted to being American finally or something, can't remember.
this happens so often: I have cover, I value it, I protect it, and then somewhere along the way- whether it is hours or months -SOMETHING or someone blows my cover. Why is this important? Because being American these days comes with so much baggage, I just prefer to NOT enter a social situation where someone might make 2 dozen assumptions about me off the bat. Is this paranoid? Dunno. But, for example, when I have to climb over the little gang of Turkish teenagers -nice polite, decent guys- who hang out on my front stoop smoking hash, for some reason I do not want them to know who or what I am exactly. I just want to be a blank slate and build up a relationship with them on neutral ground... perhaps this stems from that day at the Ausländerbehorde (my first week back in Berlin) when I was helping the old Turkish man fill out his paperwork and he saw that I was from California and began yelling at me, see post: November 2006 "Berziksamt Bureaucratc Wonderland"
Perhaps I want to avoid something like that again... perhaps that instills doubt and fosters embarrassment for my naieve idealism...
Anyhow, whether I was American or not I could not hide the fact that I knew/know NOTHING about Kyrgistan. Nothing.

After one of the Euro Cup GAMES the topic of Europe's love and obsession with stereotyping its fellow EU countries came up. This happens. Why, I dunno. It is a scramble for identity in such a big glob of nationalities and people. Or, is it just same-old, same-old. Germans saying x about the Spanish who say y about the French who say z about the Polish. Hm. ho-hum.
On the flipside, though, there is more amazing integration and intermingling going on in the EU than ever before. I have met English girls dating Russian guys, Turkish guys dating Polish girls, and so on and so forth, really great.

According to the NY TImes, George Carlin is going to die tomorrow:
"George Carlin, Irreverent Comedian, Dies at 71
Published: June 24, 2008"


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