Last night we watched the US soccer team lose in a bar in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. When looking for a spot to watch the game, we wanted to find a place where we could gather with or fellow country men and women and cheer. I realized that watching the game was the first time I’ve been excited to reveal to the city that I’m an American.

Clearly, when I open my mouth everyone knows I’m not a native, but what it is about me (us?) that is embarrassed by my nation? Is it the reputation we have for being loud and obnoxious in Europe? I saw Spanish people parading around the streets the other night excited to claim their heritage. Why do I want so much to blend in and fit in? Why don’t I want to embrace my “Americanness?”

Today John and I fly from Amsterdam to Prague. We will be there for 5 days! In Amsterdam, I’ve learned a lot about Nazi occupation during WW2 by visiting the Anne Frank House and the WW2 museum of Dutch resistance. It was interesting to see the ways different people responded to the threat of German oppression. Some assimilated, some actively resisted, and some hid. I have no idea what I would have done…


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