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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


8. Although sometimes it’s more simple.


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

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


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

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

13. Just make sure it sounds realistic.

Universal Pictures.

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

That can be our little secret.

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