And while getting to know other cities, other countries, and other people ultimately reveals basic commonalities shared by all people and cultures, it also becomes comically easy to engage in broad generalizations vis-a-vis the differences.
Overheard in Public in Foreign Countries:
"And the best part: she's Dutch!"
"Oh don't be ridiculous - that's the American side of you speaking."
"You are too smart for your country."
"She's Italian. And you know what THAT means."
"I suppose you want to prepare meat outdoors in your backyard?"
"You speak English remarkably well for an American."
"She's German, but she's spent a lot of time in Italy, so her shoes are fabulous."
"This year, let's just go to the Australian Ball. We can skip the others."
"Is he gay, or just British?"
I spoke to MMdvi (a fabulous Brit living in Beijing) this morning and she evinced absolutely no surprise that I am still on my man fast:
I've had sex with Americans, and that's why I now only date European men. If you've only ever shagged American men, it's no wonder you've lost all interest. Let's find you a Brit. Or maybe even an Italian or South African.
This has sparked another creative project: a comparative study of sexual skill across different nationalities.
Since collecting the first hand data for such a study might be too time consuming (not to mention messy), I will poll my friends. So friends, speak up.