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robhostein

When people find out you were not born here

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3 hours ago, TTG said:

Sorry Rob. I know how you feel. People are like deer caught in the headlights when they realise you're different. And let's not forget that most Americans never get a passport or visit a foreign country. It really sucks but I guess it's best to just carry on challenging their perceptions of what it means to be American. 

 

On a side note. I'm a British citizen, recently naturalised but here since I was 6 years old. I'm no longer very polite when people repeatedly ask me what nationality I am or where I come from. When I reply "I'm British, I grew up in Shropshire" and they ask "Yeah but where are you really from? Where were you born? Where are your parents from?" I don't think twice about dismantling their idiotic questions with a snarky remark. 

 

We are more than the place where we were born. I don't know what about that concept is so difficult for people to understand in 2019.

Surprised you kept your accent. Why do they ask?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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19 hours ago, TTG said:

where are you really from? Where were you born?

Good answer might be "I'm a Zoroastrian Eskimo from Eek*, Alaska."

 

*real place


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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On 3/8/2019 at 8:46 AM, Mike E said:

So sorry that your social  circle  consists of friendly, helpful, and curious Americans.  There is a remedy for your tough situation. 

 

Best.  

Hey, listen, I know you're being sarcastic and everything. I know you must think I'm some jerk who is offended by someone asking about my background. But I'm not.

 

This is for anyone reading this thread thinking I harbor some hatred for Americans that are interested in foreign people and their cultures. 

 

I never, in any way shape or form, said that I hate people who ask me those questions. I did not say that I found them annoying. My threshold for what I find annoying is far higher than that. There are worse things in the world to worry about.

 

I'm too far removed from my birth country to offer any kind of cultural connection to the people who are curious about it. It's sad, but that's the reality. Wish I could, but I can't. Do I HATE the people who come up to me with their curiosity? NO. Why would I? They're just asking simple questions. They have no hatred towards me. And I don't have any towards them.

 

Why did I create this thread? To find people who have had similar experiences. And by the looks of the replies, there are plenty.


10-year green card received: 2004-02-01

N-400 Filed Online:  2018-11-28

N-400 Biometrics Appointment: 2018-12-20

N-400 Notice of Interview: 2019-01-04

N-400 Interview Appointment: 2019-02-21

N-400 Application Approved: 2019-02-21

N-400 Notice of Oath Ceremony: 2019-04-11

N-400 Oath Ceremony: 2019-04-18

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On 3/8/2019 at 2:40 PM, mtempelaar said:

I got the question last week about why my husband turned in The Netherlands for the USA and I just said "For me!".  That being said, he has dual citizenship now, and next step is mine.   We'll move there when I hit retirement age most likely.

 

My husband is fluent too, and super smart, but sometimes his mind goes blank on a specific word/phrase.   One day I heard him clanging around the house.   I yelled out "what are you doing???"

Hubby: "I am cleaning the blow screen"

Me: "The blow screen?"

Hubby: "Yeah the blow screen."

Me: "WTH is a blow screen?"

Hubby: "You know...the thing in the ceiling that gets the dust out of the house"

Me: "You mean the air filter."

Hubby: "Yeah that!"

Me: "Honey....that doesn't blow, it sucks.  Do I need to explain difference?"  ;)

 

     

Lol I have this moment too!  We foreigners uses different phrases which is why I usually ask my husband and friends how would they say it if they were to say it. Funny that we have the same plans. We will retire in the Philippines and he will get his dual citizenship too like me. :)

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On 3/8/2019 at 10:15 AM, robhostein said:

It's just sad that I'm so far removed from my country of birth that I cannot answer their questions or give them what they're seeking, that cultural connection. 

I think this is a really good answer to the questions people might be asking you...of course it may not be the happy answer everyone wants to hear but it sums up well why you don't really want to talk about it.

 

I think it's harder between adults, tbh, when one's concept of nationality becomes more solidified and more of an expectation. I remember as a high schooler growing up with classmates originally from Bosnia, Afghanistan, Albania, South Africa...very rarely did the topic of their countries of origin might pop up unless they actually brought it up themselves, but other than that, we all just got along as kids without any further questions of nationality/culture.  


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (2016-2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions - NBC (Apr-2019-???) 📝 MSC I-751 filers: Track your case here!

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

??-???-2019: TBA...

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens! 🇺🇸

 

 

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8 minutes ago, millefleur said:

I think this is a really good answer to the questions people might be asking you...of course it may not be the happy answer everyone wants to hear but it sums up well why you don't really want to talk about it.

Oh, yes. I agree. And like you said, it's best to be direct. This answer is direct and the most gentle way of addressing those questions they have.

 

Although, if they offer to take me to one of those restaurants, and they're paying... Hey, a free meal is a free meal... 😄


10-year green card received: 2004-02-01

N-400 Filed Online:  2018-11-28

N-400 Biometrics Appointment: 2018-12-20

N-400 Notice of Interview: 2019-01-04

N-400 Interview Appointment: 2019-02-21

N-400 Application Approved: 2019-02-21

N-400 Notice of Oath Ceremony: 2019-04-11

N-400 Oath Ceremony: 2019-04-18

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Grew up most of my life here at the age of 5, so no Asian accent. If anything, folks are more curious about my journey getting here. It probably depends on where you live.

 

However, my wife has a eastern European accent, and gets asked all the time where she is from. People are just curious.

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Not long after Mrs. T-B. got here, I took her to the local Mexican supermarket, and I told her to ask the employees if they could identify where she was from on the basis of her dialect.

 

The guesses were "Honduras," "Colombia," and "not Mexico."

 

When she said "Ecuador," one guy actually exclaimed, "Really?  I thought all Ecuadorians were ugly!"  Mrs. T-B. & I concluded that the guy had only seen pictures of those stubby Ecu Indians who wear the colorful hats.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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On 3/9/2019 at 1:39 PM, Boiler said:

Surprised you kept your accent. Why do they ask?

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I'm a naturalised British citizen who is moving to the US. Originally (let's stir the pot) from China. I look 100% Chinese so people are very surprised when I speak in a very standard English accent. 

 

Having said that... if I'm in the US for the next 40 years I hope I never lose the accent! My mother would have a meltdown! lol.

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12 minutes ago, TTG said:

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I'm a naturalised British citizen who is moving to the US. Originally (let's stir the pot) from China. I look 100% Chinese so people are very surprised when I speak in a very standard English accent. 

 

Having said that... if I'm in the US for the next 40 years I hope I never lose the accent! My mother would have a meltdown! lol.

Well that is bound to cause confusion, most Americans have never visited the UK and shall we say have a Hollywood impression.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Just now, Boiler said:

Well that is bound to cause confusion, most Americans have never visited the UK and shall we say have a Hollywood impression.

I fully embrace my new career as a supervillain mastermind. Just don't tell my wife about the lab in the cellar.

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I am half Welsh but my Mum left when she was 12 and had hardly any accent left, so at 6 I am surprised.

 

Actually had a conversation with a friends GF recently and she had no clue where Wales was, what it was etc etc. And she is actually Russian but came here at a very early age. To be fair most Americans have no clue if I mention Wales.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Boiler said:

most Americans have no clue if I mention Wales.

Blue Wales, sperm Wales, killer Wales... got it, first try!  :dance: 

Edited by TBoneTX

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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4 hours ago, Boiler said:

I am half Welsh but my Mum left when she was 12 and had hardly any accent left, so at 6 I am surprised.

 

Actually had a conversation with a friends GF recently and she had no clue where Wales was, what it was etc etc. And she is actually Russian but came here at a very early age. To be fair most Americans have no clue if I mention Wales.

When I lived in Russia, it was shocking to me that most Russians overwhelmingly think the entire US is one big California filled with hot weather and sun all the time...Recently I knew a Russian who traveled here on a tourist visa and visited the Midwest because a friend lived there....she packed nothing but warm spring clothing only to be met with a snowy polar vortex to her shock. She had to borrow friends' clothing in order not to freeze. That quickly shattered the "Entire America = Southern California" preconception.

 

I think people around the world tend to be ignorant of geography sadly. Unless you're a map nerd, most people probably wouldn't seek out to be familiar with tons of lesser known/smaller countries.


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (2016-2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions - NBC (Apr-2019-???) 📝 MSC I-751 filers: Track your case here!

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

??-???-2019: TBA...

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens! 🇺🇸

 

 

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