International Need for Oreos

I dug up some journal entries from my trip abroad. Here is one of them.

Dateline: Amsterdam. Even among the pastoral tulip fields and gently twirling windmills, it was impossible to escape the sting of my ethnicity.

I spent some time traveling with a friend to a few cities and here was the conversation I overheard while

I ate my feelings that day. And they were delicious!

waiting on line for dutch pancakes.

Friend: Pardon. Zit hier iemand?

Local: No, the seat’s free.

Friend: Oh, you speak English.

Local: Yeah. Where are you from?

Friend: The states. Los Angeles.

Local: Oh, I hear it’s dangerous there.

Friend: Can be.

Local: Because of the blacks?*

A moment later, I sat down in front of my friend and my new Dutch buddy with a plate of piping hot pannenkoeken. Now, had I not been a practiced Oreo, I would have wanted to pour those piping hot pannenkoeken down the front of my new buddy’s shirt. But, being the Oreo that I am, I supported his point.

Me: Well, you just have to pay attention to where you are. If you come visit, you’ll see. That’s why I moved to Hancock Park.

I could have made him feel suuuper uncomfortable. But instead, I fostered international relations with the right conversation and my appreciation of perfectly pressed pancakes.

*It’s been suggested that I’m making up some of these stories. But no. Really. I’m not.

For other uncomfortable moments I didn’t make up. Check out these posts on phone etiquette, getting out of a parking ticket and talking to kids.