Monday, April 27, 2015

The state of being exotic... to a degree

Here in the Netherlands, I'm often told I'm "so English."

"Hmm," I reply. "Is that not good?"

"It's nice, it's just that it's so you," is the usual answer. Okay.

But I start to doubt (as you do). How is it something supposedly good can sound…well… you know…a bit dubious?

Then I start to wonder. What if I were something more exotic, like, say... Italian, French or another latin flavour like Spanish or Portuguese? Would it be more appealing?

I'm 25% French, I am…what if that were more like 75%…or 100%? And if I spoke with an alluring accent? Would being "so French" sound more of a compliment maybe?

Have any of you ever wanted to be something more exotic? If so, what would you like to have been?


  1. Personally Val if someone said "That I was very English" I would feel rather uncomfortable because it would mean that I was not integrating.

    There was a time when I considered changing my nationality, then on reflection decided that it would only be a paper transaction; for I am who I am.

    More importantly: it is my attitude, acceptance and immersion into the culture of the country that I now live in, that matters to me and not my birth country.

  2. You have a point, Mel. I am pretty well integrated, but what I can't change is my tendency to be less direct about things than my hosts. I still have the English way of beating about the bush when it comes to asking for things and talking about sensitive subjects. This is mostly when I'm told 'you're so English'. Try as I might, I cannot give things to them straight :)

  3. If I was going to be something exotic, I suspect it would be French. A little French accent, and a lot of French style. That would be nice. I suspect HB and I are quite a bit English too, in the way you describe, being a little reticent around sensitive subjects. An interesting post, Val.

    1. Ah, Patricia. Being French would suit me too, I think. It is partly in my blood after all :)

  4. In Cuba it was a real advantage to be English and not American - though hopefully that will begin to change.


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