Blending In

I secretly hope that the nationals in the places we visit can’t immediately tell that I’m American. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud to be American. It’s just that I approach international travel with the assumption that everyone abroad thinks that Americans are loud jerks. I simply hope to help shatter that stereotype.

The thing is, I suck at it.

If you know me in person, you know I’m not particularly loud. Or jerky. But something happens to me when I’m in another country.

At first I told myself it’s something to do with the language barrier. Now that I’m in England, I’m realizing that the language clearly isn’t the problem. Simply put, it’s my brain.

It seems that once I physically cross the U.S. border, I forget how to do basic things such as placing phone calls, buying things with money, and constructing full sentences. Then I become self-conscious of my flubbery, causing myself to become a complete hot mess if I’m left to my own devices. (Much like a joy-riding Simple Dog over at Hyperbole and a Half.)

For example, let’s just say that it’s nothing short of a miracle if I get invited to tea at Harriett’s again. My deepest apologies to everyone I bulldozed with my stroller and/or diaper bag!

Thankfully it seems that the more comfortable I get here, the more my once-sharp mind comes back to me. And until then, at least I’ll have the baby constantly by my side to use as an excuse.


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