Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where are you local?

A comment I have recently stumbled upon in my general social media news feed is the point about how people shouldn't ask "where are you from?" but "where are you local?" It is of course relevant to not just to me (I usually add, "but I haven't lived in Denmark for nearly 15 years" to my answer to provide some context), but particularly to Zoe. She struggles with the questions that she gets about where she is from ("Mommy, where am I from?"), if she is in fact Danish (Danes are notorious for asking this if they detect a slight accent) and where she lives ("but mommy, I only live in Stockholm because Daddy won't let me live with you all the time"). I try to provide her with preemptive answers and explain that she is unique and that she can say she is Danish because her mom is.  But one place where we are both local, is in New York.

I was catching the subway to work rather late in the morning because I had had two phone meetings with people in Sweden earlier when I happened to walk into the subway car where a friend/colleague was sitting. We said hello and chatted, agreeing to catch up properly over coffee next week. As I walked out, I casually mentioned that this was strange, it happened to me all the time in New York but never in Copenhagen or Stockholm. I have bumped into friends here numerous times, from the actress sisters who live over on the lower east side to Zoe's friend's mom when we went to the upper east side for music class this summer. I even met a student's roommate on the subway without knowing him at the time, but he was reading the book that my student had written so I walked up and asked how he knew the author. I really enjoy that it is possible to casually meet people. New York is a very small world. And I'm local here.

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