Where are you from?

“Are you French?”
“Excuse me, what language do you speak?”
“Where do you come from?”
“Is this French?”

I have no idea why Americans think we are French? I would be probably a bad person to say that the only thing the Americans associate with Europe is France but on the other hand the Internet memes like „the map of the world according to the Americans” may be there for a reason. For most of them the answer „We are from Poland” seems to be equally exotic as if we would say we are from Romania, Sri Lanka or Mauritius. And I guess if I would say we are from Czechoslovakia, I would probably also hear „wow, cool” in response. Yet at the same time many people reply „my grandma was Polish” or „my best frend is Polish, my God, she can cook!”.

I wrote already about the food in the US. Nevertheless reading labels still makes my hair rise. We miss real bread and „true Polish kielbasa” we found in a store in Forks made the boys so happy. We read all labels carefully and it is really hard to find something without corn syrup. We test local cuisine whenever we can so we also tried pancakes with „maple-like” syrup and burgers with fries. Nevertheless at the end of the day it looks like the best burgers were the ones we made at our own at our campsite.

The number of obese people is scary. Even my, ever-fat-looking-self can feel slim here. It is also scary to see how many people are barely able to walk and look like they will trip and fall in a moment. Like they were detached from their couch after 15 years. The mum of Gilbert Grape, live, few times a day. Scary.

The picture of America we get here does not look good but I guess we could get and equally bad one while touring Poland. The Americans on the other hand are mostly friendly, helpful and always ready to start a conversation. There was no other place where random people just ask, „hey, how are you doing, is everything alright, have a great day!” One day I must try this in Poland.

I got used to people approaching us and asking what is that strange language that you speak, where are we from or sometimes also to ask for money. At one campsite a random guy approached us during breakfast and said he wants to pay for it because „you look like decent people and welcome to America and all the best to you”. We are not used to accepting gifts or compliments. The boys are disoriented and look for a trap. And in fact this may be just good karma coming back:) Yesterday we helped someone, today someone helps us and as the Lion King used to tell Simba, „we are all connected in the great circle of life”.

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About the author : Maja