For some reason or another, i am considered more exotic here than in the States. not a day goes by when i come across people who try to guess (unsuccessfully) my ethnicity. i love it.
...brazilian? ...spanish? ...egyptian? ...greek? ...oh i know...ITALIAN! this goes on for about 5 minutes as i grin and shake my head in response.
i embrace my cultural ambiguity--it's a conversation starter, it makes me feel mysterious, but most of all it amuses me. i love that i can pass for italian but also for algerian...i get everything except east asian or scandanavian.
in the U.S. people assume that i am indian...i suppose because of the large population and it's a very "mainstream ethnicity," if you will. Paris is such a diverse city and diversity is seen as attractive (to certain crowds of course...)
.....BUT what if i were French, born and raised? I'm sure i would feel differently about this unwanted attention and would want to be seen as French. in the U.S., even if people assume that i'm indian, i am undoubtably an American citizen above all...i like that. France has a problem with integration that runs deep in past and permeates the present social/political culture. At some point in the near future, this issue needs to be seriously analyzed and dealt with by the government...perhaps when the new French president is elected this April.
But for now, i will keep people guessing.....