Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On Being an Italiana

Walking back from 57th with my Yogoccino in hand (not even a fifth as good as the Happy Shake I got last week), I stopped into a shoe store on Madison Avenue. After a look around, I decided it was time to leave. I went to the door and there was a family of Italian tourists there. The father noticed that I wanted to leave and held the door open for me after his family had already walked through that door. The son then saw that I was leaving as well and opened the outer door so that I could leave before his family. I turned to him and said, "thank you." He turned to his family and said, "Italiana!"

Me mistake for an Italian? Oh, wouldn't be the first time...but I have one even better. When Miryam and I were in London, we had to take our pictures in these little booths for our metro passes. I went into one, leaving Miryam to wait with the luggage, at about the same time that a group of five or so Italian men were walking in our direction. Ecstatic at having found another Italian in the English country, they attacked (yes, attacked) Miryam with a flurry of hugs and kisses and shouts of "Italiana! Italiana!"

Miryam tried pushing them off with explanations that she only speaks English, but they were relentless. They thought she was Italian and they were determined to have her admit to being Italian. It was a party. :)

15 original thoughts out there

Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

I've been called Italian, Greek, Phillpino, and even French (the nerve!). I'm Spanish, but I guess I have one of those names...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

Yes, indeed!

I've been called Italian, French, Sicilian, and an elusive "just not American." Really, I'm just your average Jewish-looking girl. :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mesiach said...

browns you will always be called princess to me :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger D.B. Cooper said...

i've been mistaken 4 italian on many occasions on account of my surname. in fact, some ppl shudder in fear upon hearing my full name (Agadi sounds like Gotti - as in the new york crime family). sometimes i just play along b/c it gets me respek :-)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 2:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Miryam said...

People always think I'm Italian for some reason, especially Italians. This past Pesach I had a stopover in Rome on my way home from Israel ans some Italian guy travelling for the first time asked me for help cuz he was positive I spoke his language. So weird, I mean my skin isn't even half as dark as it used to be. Now if we could convince a certain set of twins we were Sicilian, they may just reconsider conversion...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 10:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get mistaken as Italian a lot, Irish also.
Nedenah

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger D.B. Cooper said...

somebody once mistook me 4 an ashki. however, 2 weeks later - when the swelling around his black eye subsided - he was able to see that i'm clearly not ;-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

Ooooooh DB, you're such a talker!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:45:00 AM  
Anonymous brown eyed girl said...

Being that my dad is in fact Italian, I have learned that, they want to think everyone is Italian. Especially when they are in a foreign country. With my grandparents (and cousins), anytime they met one of my friends, they would be like, "YOu good Italian, eh?" Or upon meeting my guy friends, "You good Italian boy, no? You Marry my niece (cousin, granddaughter, etc...). Sadly for my friends, upon finding out they were not Italian, the offer was soon retracted.

And Randy, while me being mistaken for a jew rarely happens, when people do find out, they often assume I'm an ashkei. But I blame that on my surname, which surprisingly, comes from the non jewish part of my family. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 9:13:00 AM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

Tova, you're Italian? But, but...of all the people who look nothing like their claimed heritages...wow. So you're a Sephardic Jewish Italian with blond hair and very light skin? Wow...That's uh...special.

(Please note the number of ellipses* I've employed in this very short comment. I have learned from the best.)
(*Is this the plural for ellipsis?)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mesiach said...

awww i feel so special... Im thinking about writing a book aoubt elipsis... more of a mission statement that will revolutionize the grammar industry....oi school starts soon im taking intensive german...i wonder if i will be mistaken for a german...........when i meet people who are obsessed with israel; i always get mistaken for Israeli, but so does my grandma...But she gets mistaken for israeli cuz she cuts in line and forces food down your throat...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Loganius said...

Mesiach- I have a german Movie that i must insist you watch since you are taking intensive german. It's called "Lammbock" and stars the guy from "Lolla Rennt"...it will simultaneously improve your German and teach you enough slang to get by in just about any situation, not to mention it's hilarious.

Ein Beispiel Zitat:

!Beim Aids-test in der Halle!
Kai:ich nehm an du hast schon einen decknamen....ja ich hab auch lange drüber nachgedacht, is ja so wichtig is das es n cooler name ist, darf ja nicht so aggresiv cool sein, sondern muss mehr die......, die coolness muss mehr so im sub-text mitschwingen....Mr. Pink
Laura: Mr. Pink?
Kai: Ja, das ist eine coole Namen von einem coolen Film, Resevoir Dogs weisst du...Mr. Pink.

!später im Büro!

Angestellte: Ok, erst ein pseudonym unter dem wir sie hier führen?
Kai: Mr.Pink
Angestellte: Bitte nur ein Wort
Kai: Wie meinen sie das "nur ein wort"
Angestellte: Ja rede ich kein deutsch? Nur ein wort, also..
Kai: ähm, Pink dann..
Angestellte: Die frage nach ihren sexuellen gewohnheiten kann ich mir dann ja wohl sparen

Ahh german films....

Thursday, August 11, 2005 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous brown eyed girl said...

i'm italian from my dad... who's family is italian roman catholic (and from long island!). my mom's family is argentinian and spaniard. a lot of argentinians migrated from spain, unlike a lot of the other spanish countries. so like spaniards, argentinians are very light. i'm guessing my most of my dad's family is from more north in italy. i know we're not sicilian.

as far as "looking" italian, spanish or sephardi... i don't look jewish either. or anything else, well, sometimes they think i'm swetish.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:25:00 PM  
Blogger nyc pink fashionista said...

You all know that I'm chinese but due to the fact that I don't look like a sterotypical Asian,, I get mistaken for being a halfie. thats cool. But its so awkard when people ask me about my "European" heritage.

"So you're Asian and _______?"

I've gotten (in decending order) Irish, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Turkish. Yes, Turkish. I've gotten a few more but those are the big ones.

I could only imagine what my kids are going to look like if I hook up with a white guy, considering the fact that moomy's looks mixed.

Friday, August 12, 2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger nyc pink fashionista said...

I just remenber...I get German as well.

Friday, August 12, 2005 11:02:00 PM  

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