21 Things That Happen When Your Parents Are From Another Country

Your parents; their parents; multiple countries. Whatever.

1. You’ve spent half your natural life actually on a plane.

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2. But hotels make you uncomfortable, because when you’ve gone abroad you’ve always stayed in family homes.

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3. You have a completely different accent from the one you grew up using.

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4. You use foreign-ised English unironically in conversation with your family.

“On le weekend I might eat le biftek and play some fútbol.”

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5. You were an early adopter of Skype/WhatsApp/FaceTime.

Mainly to ask your mother to increase your allowance. Every other day.

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6. “So where are you from?” is something you hear approximately once a week.

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7. You kind of wish people wouldn’t ask this, because the answer can be really complicated and drawn-out.

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8. Although sometimes it’s more simple.

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9. Occasionally, when you tell people where you’re from, they will ask you if you’re sure.

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10. Yes, people will ask you if you’re sure that you’re from the place that you’ve said you’re from.

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At which point you have a couple of options available to you.

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11. You could ask them to wait while you go and check.

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12. Or you could lie.

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13. Just make sure it sounds realistic.

Universal Pictures.
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14. One peculiarity of coming from many nationalities is that you can seem to swap ethnicities around as you age.

Asian baby, black teenager, Latino adult? Okay, genes, whatever you say.

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15. And there’s no right answer when people ask which nationality you prefer.

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16. You wish ethnicity forms had a category labelled ‘it’s complicated’ because it’d stop you getting hand cramp.

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17. Still, there are good points. Street canvassers assume you’re a tourist and won’t hassle you. Rejoice in your mighty foreign-lookingness!

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18. You know all the best places to get authentic foreign food.

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19. And although you can only speak a few words of your heritage languages, you sound really good when you’re doing it.

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20. People always assume that you’re super-interesting and glamorous.

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21. And the fact that your favourite things in the world are tea, Marmite toast and EastEnders?

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That can be our little secret.

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Robyn Wilder is a staff writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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