Stereotypes – Fact or Fiction
As I write, I’ve just arrived in the United States. This is my first trip outside of Europe and I am, I must confess, a little excited. The long trip, the damaged luggage and the surly people at border control did not dent my enthusiasm. Knowing I was flying into Nashville did minimize the excitement a little, though
One of the things I hope to study and observe in the US is the people – specifically, the stereotypes. We Europeans think that we’re so much better than the Americans and while there are cases when that may be true, I’m sure not all of them are like the Zeeb-a Zeeb-a Eat-a crocodiles. Having said that, I doubt that I’ll end up creating soft toys based upon these stereotypes. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, I land in Nashville airport and feel, strangely enough, as if it was not a completely unfamiliar place. Perhaps the fact that we watch so many American made movies and TV shows means that the accent is not something unfamiliar.
I walked out and get a cab to my hotel. The driver spoke some English but without the American accent I expected. I figure that he may be a recent immigrant. Still, he felt like talking and asked where I’m from. This is the bit that is always amusing – saying you’re from Malta draws blank looks in Europe so I really was not expecting anything better from the Yanks – stereotype or no stereotype.
“Malta,” I answer. I pause and then continue saying, “It’s a small island in the middle of the …”
“Yes, I know where it is”
Pause, as this is truly surprising.
“Really? How come?”
The taxi driver proceeded to tell me about how he originally came from Somalia and arrived in the US a few months before. One of his transit points after leaving Africa was Malta.
What are the odds?
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