Two places

Where you from is the question you hear most when traveling. A simple enough question, but for me there is no simple answer. Having spent first 13 years of my life in Russia and the rest in Finland, I have no idea where I am from and I lost national identity in process too (i.e. could care less about nationalistic issues, like who wins in an ice-hockey tournament). I don’t feel like Russian, nor Finnish, although I am more up-to-date to the Finnish culture these days. I used to give a half-assed answer like “Finland, kinda Russia”, until I met Ethan in Beijing. Ethan is in the similar boat as me, born and grew up in Boston, but lived a fair share of his life in Israel, feeling neither American nor Israeli (talk about an “evil” combination by the way). Anyways, Ethan’s advice was to say “two places”, followed by a dramatic pause and a brief explanation. Works like a charm and is a great conversation starter. Thank you, Ethan.

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