It's harder than you realize, being American," he told her. "Don't suppose we aren't aware how we appear to the rest of the world. Times I used to travel abroad, I'd see those tour groups of my countrymen and flinch, even though I knew I looked pretty much the same. That's the hell of it: we're all lumped in together. We're all on this same big ship, so to speak, and wherever the ship goes I have to go, even if it's behaving like some. . . grade-school bully. It's not as if I can just jump overboard, you know!"
"Whereas we Iranians, on the other hand," Maryam said wryly, "are invariably perceived as our unique and separate selves."
--Anne Tyler, Digging to America
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