You’re Not American

Manhattan, NY, USA

This morning, on my way back from a Pakistani wedding reception in New Jersey last night that was a delightfully glittering, delicious affair, I was doing my best to navigate through weekends on the subway. There are so many cancellations and track changes that it can be very hard to maneuver. I’m beginning to get the hang of it, but the poor Israeli tourist I met was having a much more difficult time working it out.

So there I was, trying with little success to get him to his cousin’s house in Queens. “Where are you from?” he asks. “You’re not American.”
I protest that I am.
“But you have an accent that’s not American,” he insists.
“Oh, well, I’ve been living in Egypt and Jordan for the last few years,” I offer.
He starts backing quickly away from me. “I’m your neighbor, but I speak Hebrew, not Arabic!” he calls back down the corridor at me.

I think that’s the first time a complete and total stranger has ever been afraid of me!

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