I pride myself in being able to detect other people’s place of origin. My rate of accuracy these days rounds to about 70% and in worst cases a least I get the continent where they from right. It used to be loads better when I lived in good’ol Aztlán. On occasions I can even detect another Hispanic within meters from me or at times a mile or so. I can sense they speak Spanish. So my ethnic radar is fully functional for the most part even though I seldom use it up here in the Swedish Highlands. My radar, which used to trigger itself on at the minor indication that an id was needed only suffered a minor glitch at the beginning of my residency here in Sweden. I could not distinguish a Pole from a Finnish. Heck, they were all white, blond and blue eyed to use a general saying. This, however, changed over time. I can, at the very least, distinguish who is a Swede and who ain’t it though it is tricky at times. One would even think that Swedes are a very homogeneous people but one would be surprised to find out the rate of interracial marriage over here. The only difference is that this interraciallity is for the most part white on white.
Either way, I was aghast the other day that somebody confused me for being an Arab. I would not otherwise be bothered by this comparison but being here in Sweden it did shake my foundations and hit right about my San Andreas fault. It hurt my American pride the least to say. Ignorance is an enemy not to be underestimated because it can strike where one least expects it. So what does one do in said circumstances? I am afraid the reader might know the answer already. Yes, one bites the bitter pill and swallows whole heartedly the poison present before one.