She's Got the Look
Apparently I’ve got an unusual look and manner. Before I open my mouth, no one in Europe can tell I’m American. Maybe it’s the wide face and high cheekbones, a gift from my Russian ancestors; maybe it’s the almond-shaped eyes from my Hungarian Jewish grandmother; maybe it’s the head of fine, blond German hair from my mother’s side, or maybe even the large, sturdy Alsatian head itself. Or maybe it’s this Picasso-like mix of features that throws off curious acquaintances.
When I lived in Russia, everyone assumed I was Polish, but when I lived in Slovenia, uninformed guesses tended toward Swedish. When I spent time in Finland, I was constantly asked if I was Czech, whereas when I travel in Italy, I have to fight off people speaking to me in German. Here in Switzerland, I blurt out that I’m Swiss before know-it-all’s can attempt a guess. While yes, I was born and raised in the good old US of A, I do boast a second, bright red passport from Switzerland.
So, thanks for asking, but technically--despite the hint of California valley girl permanently lodged in my larynx--I’m Swiss.