We’re not that stupid

Dear Non-Americans,

Glynsky mentioned here, I might suffer from being made fun off. Don’t worry, in comparison diablog is rather harmless when it comes to making fun of Americans.

There are plenty of meme about it, like the following

But please, do not confuse NYC with America.

Why am I pointing out the obvious?

A while ago I went to one of my favorite live music venues. They had an evening of jam sessions and “open mic“.

Early on I talked to one of the musicians, a young bass player. Since he had an accent, at one point I asked:

“Where are you from?”

He replied:


To which I said:

“Oh, OK.”

Granted, my remark could have been more enthusiastic.
But here’s what followed.

The young musician started explaining:

You know, Bruxelles.

Headquarter of the EU.

The capital of Belgium.

Belgium, a small country in Europe.

We are the guys with the fries and mussels.

At that point I felt like explaining, that we call that clams.

And that I probably had visited his home town a couple of times, before he was even born. Or that I had spend an awesome weekend there in the early 2000s.

Instead I said:

“Oh, OK, Bruxelles, nice, very nice place. Enjoy your stay. Look forward to listening to you later.”

And got my next beer.

When the guy had joined the band, one of them announced this classic:

And what did our young, Belgian, well-educated, European, bass player say:

“What? Never heard of it. What do I do?”

So, Non-Americans, feel free to make fun about ‘murica.
I enjoy it as much as you do.

But please remember, NYC isn’t America.

Most of us speak two or more languages.
Our Chinatown alone might be larger than your hometown.
Probably more than 30% of us speak Spanish.
Italian and French are very popular too.
We have more Jewish people speaking Yiddish and/or Hebrew and understanding German than anywhere outside Israel.

Not to forget our Russian, Polish, Indian, Turkish, Egyptian, ….. communities.

In this city you can get your drivers license in 31 (!) languages.
How is that in your hometown?

If we don’t go crazy hearing where you are from, it does not mean we haven’t heard of that place. Or your home country.
Just the opposite, we might get better food from your cuisine, than you do. For example until 2009 at Cafe de Bruxelles (sic!) in the village. Or presently at Markt in the Meatpacking District.

And if you consider yourself a musician, please, learn about the classics.
You just cannot claim to play blues, not knowing The Blues Brothers and the movie:

Other than that, you are welcome.
Engine Room

8 thoughts on “We’re not that stupid

  1. Dear ER. Are you sure about your statement? What the Belgians eat are Moules and these are definitely mussels with a black or green shell. Clams are much smaller with a white brown shell.

  2. It would seem that we let anybody into the UK these days.
    Greetings from sunny Armenia. Now visa free for EU citizens.

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