Being an American Abroad

playground slide
American-steps on a child's playground slide

Photo Friday: A few thoughts about being an American Abroad: Living abroad can give you a new perspective on where you’re from, in my case, The United States of America. When I was a little girl and I said my prayers at night, I used to give God my address at the end of the prayer so he could find me. Friends of mine from South America have pointed out in the past that they too are from America, just in an another hemisphere and everyone from all “Americas” should point out which one so as not to be presumptuous. People here in Israel tell me that I don’t seem American. With great interest and surprise, I ask them “what does an American seem like?” Their answer is “loud”. I didn’t realize this. Some American reality shows, politicians and news stations (Fox) make me embarassed to be an American, foreingers see these things and make assumptions about all of us. Even though you shouldn’t lump all people into one category, many people do and it makes us look bad.  When something happens back home, like recently when the Americans killed Osama Bin Laden, a few Israelis congratulated ME. I told them I really couldn’t take credit for that, but I hope it makes the situation better (but I’m not holding my breath). My father was a soldier in the Korean war and he was very patriotic, he believed that you should not desecrate the flag in any way. I disagreed with him, I believe you should have the right to express yourself even if it means using the flag to do so-and I also believe that Americans should realize that to be able to protest and express yourself freely (normally) without government reprisal are a few of the many rights we have that shouldn’t be taken for granted-the Middle East is a good place to be reminded of this. My daughters have been learning the pledge of Alligence and the American National Anthem and this make me very proud indeed!

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