People say Americans are stupider than Europeans because we work 400 days a year and don’t ride on trains.
Oh, and we’re not interested in learning any other language except the King’s speech.
Fine, that last part may be true, but we’re not complete morons. Many of us have general knowledge about the other side of the world.
And what we don’t know, we make up for in obsessive Google searches.
Basically, we know when you’re being sketchy about being all European-y.
Dimitri, a “100 percent Greek” guy my friend Brandie dated, fit the part. He had an accent, a dark complexion and liked cheese a lot.
He moved to ’merica for college and stayed working full-time as a valet at a restaurant. Brandie met him at a bar.
He seemed nice and legitimate at first, and they went on cute dates and he paid for everything. She told him about American culture. He didn’t know a lot of American culture, he said. It was like he had just arrived!
But then she brought him to bar trivia. Glorious bar trivia.
Where you answer a whole bunch of random questions and get drunk.
One of the questions that night was perfect for Dimitri.
“What are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, that, when put together, is a familiar phrase?” the host asked.
“Uh….alpha something,” the teammates offered, thinking back to college fraternities and sororities. “Alpha, zeta??”
Everyone looked at Dimitri.
Perhaps he didn’t understand the question.
“Um, Dimitri, what are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet?” Brandie asked.
“Uhh…I don’t know,” he said.
“What do you mean you don’t know, you’re Greek!” she cried.
“Yea, well…we moved to Italy when I was 12, so…”
“So what?? You told me you speak Greek to your parents! You grew up learning it!”
Everyone at the table got really uncomfortable. I mean, isn’t that the first thing you learn growing up?? THE ALPHABET???
Then an AMERICAN on the team blurted out, “OMEGA! ALPHA, OMEGA! That’s gotta be it!”
“Oh, yes, that’s right,” Dimitri said. “Omega.”
Not long after that night, Dimitri went “home” to Greece to visit friends and extended family for the holidays. He was gone for about three weeks, but stayed in touch writing emails (in English) saying he was having a great time.
When he returned, however, he was not having a great time. And he was broke.
“I got arrested!” he said. “Arrested!”
“For what??” Brandie asked.
“THEY SAID I WAS A SPY!” he said.
“A SPY!” he said. “Because I was using my Greek passport and it was expired. And then they saw my American passport!”
(Side note: They should have asked him to say the Greek alphabet. Then he would have been put on a short bus rather than jail.)
“I was arrested for impersonating a Greek person!” Dimitri said. “Because I’m really an American citizen!”
Brandie rattled off Bourne Identity movie facts in her head. (‘merica!)
“Why can’t you have dual citizenship?” Brandie asked. “You’re from there and live here….”
“THEY DON’T ALLOW THAT!” Dimitri yelled. “YOU CAN’T BE BOTH AN AMERICAN AND GREEK CITIZEN!”
(Uhhh….Google it. You absolutely can. This isn’t Cuba.)
Did Dimitri think she was a complete idiot?
Say he DID get arrested unjustly as an American citizen, wouldn’t he have called the Embassy?
And how did he get an American passport, anyway?? He should have a work VISA, if anything.
And, finally, really…a SPY??THAT guy???
None of this added up.
“I’m really confused,” Brandie said.
“Basically, I might have to owe the Greek government $100,000. So I can’t take you out like I used to.”
There it is.