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Both sides now, and then

In the beginning, the questions came with surprising consistency:

What do you mean, you’re not Australian?  I thought you were from England.  You sound like a Scot.

126It’s noteworthy that I didn’t fool anyone into thinking I was one of them.  The Aussies knew I wasn’t Australian and the Brits knew I wasn’t English.  Oddly enough, the Americans believed I wasn’t American.  But few were able to successfully place me or my accent.

I hadn’t planned it that way, although my newfound cultural ambiguity did give me a certain amount of pleasure.  There was something romantic, adventurous, and egalitarian about being a Citizen of the World.  There was also something reassuring about being an anonymous everyman, without the baggage of preconception and the insult of stereotype.

The explanation wasn’t complicated.

Read the whole essay here.


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