“…But Americans are tall!”

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Enjoying a cup of Joe from my apartment in Shanghai.

While I was waiting for my drink, the lady behind the register looks at my husband and asked him if I were Russian. He laughed and told her I’m American. She was stunned, “…But Americans are tall!” The response was odd to me considering I’ve met plenty of tall Russians.

How about you? Have anybody mistaken you for being from another country?

當我再等我點的飲料時,店員問我先生我是不是俄國人,我先生笑著回答不是,並說我是美國人。店員吃驚的說,不對吧?美國人不是都很高的嗎?這種說法讓我不解,因為我曾見過很多高大的俄國人啊。

你怎麼認為呢?有人曾誤把你當成從其他國家來的嗎?

21 thoughts on ““…But Americans are tall!”

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  1. Ahh.. stupid stereotyping at work again! I was guilty of thinking American girls are taller too, until I traveled to the States for the first time. If you ask me today, I would say American girls are curvier than Asian girls, but certainly not taller. Actually, all Caucasian girls are curvier than Asian girls XD

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  2. I don’t know why some people say I’m Australian, some that I’m Russian. I guess in China a lot of foreign wives come actually from Russia (there are even special services to ‘buy’ a wife) so they just put you to the same category? I don’t know why in my mind you look like a British teenage girl with wavy hair 😉

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  3. Ha! Not me, but I think I look like a typical middle-aged American tourist–a bit plump, short haircut, sensible shoes (short, though!) My partner, who’s from London, often gets mistaken for an Australian, though; I think some Americans think that all Brits talk like people on BBC and they can’t place his twangy accent.

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  4. I’ve lived in New Zealand since I was 5 but just a couple of weeks ago a British woman serving in a shop asked which part of the UK I was from originally. She was right, I’m an immigrant but most New Zealander’s don’t even notice. 🙂

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  5. CL: “Actually all Caucasian girls are taller than Asian girls.”

    You might want to reconsider that statement. I’m an exception to that rule and I’m also not the only one. If you travel around the US, you’ll notice that people tend toward heavier or slimmer in different regions. Having lived in different parts of the country, I always remained the same (slim) because of my genes. I also don’t like hamburgers (another stereotype defied!) Once, in Italy, an Italian person told me “You are the only American who doesn’t like McDonalds” (so not true, a lot of them don’t.)

    Not to be antagonistic, but statements such as, “All X’s are superlative +er than Y’s” is stereotype-proliferating talk. There are ALWAYS exceptions and variables within any ethnic group, Chinese included.

    People have told me that they “don’t think I’m a normal American because I am not fat.” Yes, directly and straight to my face. What about the alleged ‘people don’t speak directly in Taiwan because its not polite’ etiquette rule. Apparently exceptions are made if (a) you’re a foreigner, or (b) the direct statement is considered a compliment. Either way, these types of comments make me uncomfortable. I’ll leave it at that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more, so thank you for sharing your thoughts so etiquettely. You’re absolutely right, there’s no one size fits all. There are always exception to the rule. There are many local women here in Shanghai who are curvier than me.

      (I also refuse to call myself Caucasian because my ancestry is not from the Caucasus region – not that I know of, anyway).

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      1. Thanks for sharing the link, Eileen! Way cool. I am all about self-acceptance. Why should people have to feel bad simply because they don’t fit someone else’s superficial ideals? Its a waste of time and energy. By all means, love yourself and ‘all X’s are Y’ is never true. People don’t have the right to diminish others, no matter what. Finally, what’s up with that term, ‘Caucasian’ anyhow? As a cultural anthropology major that’s something I should know (oops). But seriously, curvy women are all around us- here in Taipei they’re everywhere! Maybe there really is something to be said for ‘fat invisibility’ because apparently they’re not being acknowledged.

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  6. Hi! Thanks for liking my post Aloha with Love! I am now following your amazing blog and hope we can follow each other and share all our travel journey with each other!!

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  7. For some reason people always assume I am from Eastern Europe, even though I am certainly not a giant! It must be because of my sharp facial features.. But my Italian heart cringes at the idea of not looking Italian enough!

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  8. When traveling abroad, I get mistaken for Thai, Japanese or Vietnamese. They’ll point out because its my nose or eyes or hair. I find it amusing.

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  9. My heritage is Irish, English, and Welsh. I am never mistaken for being any of those. I have been mistaken for being Ukarinian when I was in the Ukraine, and for being Australian when we were visiting Dubai, lol even after I spoke. (which I guess is sort of Irish, English, or Welsh) We stayed in the old part of Dubai, a place where American never stay, but Australians doing the UAE on the cheap do stay.

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  10. yup. i was mistaken for a japanese, a korean, as well as a thai. i have chinese blood running through my veins, but don’t speak chinese. born and grew up in indonesia, finished high school in australia, did college in usa, lived there for a bit, then back to indonesia. sometimes i still feel like a foreigner living here.

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