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"You don't look like you're from here."

On at least a weekly basis (this morning while I was half-awake buying a coke) I'm asked where I'm from by gas station attendants, cashiers, and little old ladies. This is how that conversation usually goes:

"Where are you from?"


"No, where are you from?"


"No, I mean what country are you from."

"This one."

"No, I mean what country does your family come from."

"This one."

"Oh, you just don't look like you're from here."

What does that even mean? Nobody looks like they're from here unless they're Native American. Why are you even asking me in the first place? Are you trying to tell me my face looks funny? I used to explain my ethnic background a little, but that's just too complicated (Russian, Polish, and Georgian, but my great great great grandmother was Mongolian and I might be either Cuban or Italian because my grandma is a cheater cheater pumpkin eater) and I don't owe you an explanation, rando.


I just have to wonder what the motivation behind asking me that kind of question really is. It's not pertinent to your life or this situation to know where I'm from. Also, it's pretty rude in my opinion. It's not like I go up to perfect strangers and ask "Hey, your hair is really red, you're from Ireland right?"

I'm not saying that it can't be fun to swap family stories and talk about our backgrounds, I just think it's rude to ask someone you don't know.

What do you guys think? Are you ever asked where you're from? Are you ever compelled to ask someone else what their background is?

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