Alright, so as I was writing my post about Frankfurt, one of my favorite Spanish guys who is, thankfully, in my Geografia Humana del Mar (such a long name…) class showed up and we got to talking about the cultural differences between Spain and America. It’s interesting coming to a different country as an outsider and noting all the differences, but it’s also interesting talking to an insider and getting to know their viewpoints as well. So this got me thinking even more and I realized when I first got here, I couldn’t tell anyone apart. Everyone looked the same to me…Americans, Spanish, Germans, French, Japanese…ok not Japanese. But for the most part, I couldn’t distinguish one nationality from the rest. Now, I can walk down the street and clearly tell who is and who is not from Spain without even speaking two words to the person, and I’ve become an expert at picking out who the Americans are. So with my dear Spanish friend being my inspiration, I’ve compiled a relatively accurate list of how to tell if there is an American in the vicinity. You’re welcome.
You are most likely Amurikan if you:
Own a Northface jacket or backpack - or really, just use a normal looking backpack for school in general.
Smile at random people on the street and can’t seem to ever be able to wipe the smile off your face.
Stop and awkwardly allow others to pass you when getting off the bus, causing you to always be the last person off.
Are a girl who wears norts and is seen going for a run on an almost daily basis.
Unconsciously move a few inches over when someone sits down next to you.
Walk with a good foot in between you and the person you are walking with.
Wear shorts, flip flops, and t-shirts before the month of June.
Are constantly early to class, while everyone else is constantly late to class.
Have a look of complete confusion when one of your teachers gives you a measurement in kilograms or kilometers.
Wear a hoodie, t-shirt, or any other type of apparel with your University’s name or mascot on it.
Are the only person in class not talking while the teacher is talking.
Wear any type of sorority or fraternity t-shirt.
Are spotted using any type of hand sanitizing gel.
Wear sunglasses with the strap thingy on the back (basically turning your sunglasses into a necklace).
Own a pair of TOMS.
Are slightly taller, whiter, and blonder than the average Spanish person.
Go for a handshake while the person you are meeting is going for the kiss on the cheek - an extremely awkward encounter.
Wear actual tennis shoes outside of the gym - like Nike SHOX or AirMax. Also, white tennis shoes = for sure American. Also, your knowledge of where the gym is actually located would probably give your American nationality away pretty fast.
Are a guy and wear loose fitting jeans as opposed to the skintight and colored jeans European guys prefer to wear.
Are a guy and don’t have a rat tail, dreadlocks, or what I like to call the “parrot” haircut.
Do an awkward two to three step back up/mini freak out when someone gets too close to your face while talking to you.
Wear camouflage (and you’re probably southern too, and yes, I have seen this on the streets of Spain).
Pull back a little bit when someone starts touching you an excessive amount during a conversation.
Frat shoes. Enough said.
Listen to your iPod with headphones on the bus…while sitting with other people who also seem to be American…who are also listening to their iPods.
If you choose to go for the shorts/hoodie combination.
Own an iPhone or iPod touch - for some reason Blackberries are all the rage here. Don’t really get THAT trend…
You wear a baseball hat - especially if you are inside a building.
Are a girl and have the typical hot mess look happening - messy bun, norts, flip flops, solid v-neck tshirt…we’ve all been there…
Do a double take when you see two people on top of each other in the grass in a public place, while others are casually walking by like it’s no big deal.
Wear rain boots to the University when it’s raining.
Own anything from Vera Bradley, American Eagle, or Victoria’s Secret.
Look like a hipster.
And last but not least, if you’ve got the American swag. This is probably the best way to spot an American because there are few exceptions to this rule. If you are American, you probably have the American swag - perhaps unknowingly, but it is present all the same. If you’re not American and have taken note of said swag, don’t try to replicate it.
So that, is more or less how you can tell who is American and who is not. However, I think I’m slightly more observant than the average person so this comes a bit easier to me than some of my other American friends when we play the “Ya think that person is American?” game. You are also definitely American if you read Amurikan in the title the way it should be read and didn’t think it was a typo of any sort.
And to keep the American theme going…below is one of the best songs ever written about how great America is!
Sorry if you’re reading this, not American, and don’t understand everything. I would highly suggest www.urbandictionary.com if there are any words or concepts you do not fully understand.
Stay classy America.
OH, if you want to keep up with how many days I have left in Spain and when I will be returning to the good ol’ USA, my beautiful best friend Britney made this countdown clock. Here’s the link: http://countingdownto.com/countdown/38460