A long time ago, I used to know a girl named Anne. Anne was a common story from kids in this area: American citizen growing up overseas. Whether their parents were military, with the State Department, or the hushed "other," people like Anne came back to the States as a teen, not really fitting in anywhere. Too American to be European, too European to be American. Anne told me something once about France.
"The French don't hate you because you're an American," she said from experience, "they just hate rude people who come to their country, complain, and try and draw attention to themselves while practically damning a Parisian for not speaking fluent English." She, like many of the kids I grew up with, "understood France." Maybe not like a true francophile, but at least she could go to France, behave herself, and make lots of friends. My mother was the same way. She left a trail of friends all over Europe while she and my father lived there. Including Paris. Knowing this made me a whiz at the International Help Desk years ago.
Bush embarrasses me. When I go back to Sweden, I'll never hear the end of it.
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