Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hold The Phone...

Someone has referred to me as a (gasp) FOREIGNER!

Now, I've been called many things in my life but this is just low. How long do you have to live in a place before you fit in? Those who know me well know I'm not a foreigner. I mean, real foreigners are Mormons, Peace Corps volunteers, short-term missionaries and tourists. They wear weird clothes and most of them are in serious need of a shave and a haircut. They wander around aimlessly from one Internet cafe to another, with their impressive body odor saying stuff like, "Dude, the sign said 'high speed Internet so why is it taking so long?' or 'I thought Peace Corps was supposed to cover my birth control'".

Foreigners are taken advantage of because they just look so dumb. They snap pictures of stupid things and ask dumb questions like, "Why is that person digging that hole?" If you ask me, they have it coming to them.

I get treated like a foreigner every day and it really doesn't bother me too much as long as it's not by someone close to me. This time, it was a lady from church who ought to know better. And as much as I'm trying to not let it get to me, it stings a little. It's not the first time someone has pulled the foreigner card on me ("You're just a foreigner so you could not possible understand Mongolians" etc.) and I'm sure it won't be the last.

I'm not trying to be Mongolian. I don't even go out of my way to fit in. I just think that people should look a little deeper to see the potential God has given me to serve the people of this country before they judge and label me.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most expect very low of me in the states. OH, third world country girl gets to sit in a car... how do you feel about personal hygiene and get to live in home with a REAL floor??? Most offensive thing I faced was, this lady came to my door giving out a religious pamplet and when she saw me- " Oh, do you have someone in the house who can read in English?" I was speechless and she gone on to say- oh you don't even speak English... I have gotten my BA and MBA from university in Texas... Not everyone does me this way but it hurts when people judge without knowing who I am and what I am all about. Most think I got married for a green card so I can clean floor etc. in America legally...

Sara said...

Hey Mel, I always refer to you as my Mongolian friend, if that makes you feel any better ;-)

mandkhaic said...

Girl! You live like a Mongolian more so than anyone I know... And you are the BEST WOMAN- universally speaking... Don't take those ignorant people who cannot look past your face ( OK, in case you forgot, you look American with them big eyes, tall slendor built frame and your nose gives you away-
Wink)

Melanie said...

Mandkhai you crack me up!

You know, the first phrase I learned in Mongolian was "aimaar tom nud" (frightfully big eyes) because that's what little kids would whisper when they saw me.

Pastor Chris said...

I understand how you feel; we are aliens and strangers. We (Christians) are all "foreigners" here. I get looks and comments here in the States designed to make me feel like some kind of freak, just because I believe in God. No worries. :)

Anitz said...

Join the crowd... I do not look like a foreigner here in Germany, but I certainly am not German. I suppose for the most part I have the exact opposite situation to you: everyone assumes I am German (even German name...) and I feel so not German, especially in the way I think and behave...

I kind of get insulted when people tag me as a German! One example: Germans tend to be very blunt and direct when they have any opinion (and chances are good that they have an opinion about everything!). A Canadian (of which I am proud to be one) would hide behind statements like: That is interesting... and perhaps not get into some sticky conversation based on someone's opinions...

I am learning to engage in controversial conversation, but still I see some game rules a Canadian plays by and they are not the same rules to be used here! Even church people (Baptists even!!! -- smile) have what I would call (from a Canadian point of view) aggressive...

So, I agree with the Pastor commenting above me: we are all foreigners and it is a shame that we cannot always just meet eye to eye and engage in fellowship... there are so many differences between any two individuals regardless of culture... why should we make the whole process harder?

Andrea from Germany