At an airport customs line in Sabah last year I was chatting to my daughter. We were about three metres behind an English family. They heard my accent and looked around to try to see who their fellow countrymen were and shot disappointed looks when they saw me. You see I speak with a bit of an upper middle class English accent and that’s because my grandfather was English. But I don’t look English and it pisses them off greatly, especially the Essex Men. In Australia I’m accused of being ‘Posh’ and sporting a toffee accent (ha?) but that’s how I talk. I’m not trying to be a Mrs Bucket (from Keeping up Appearances).
Apparently I’m suppose to be Turkish, Lebanese and Greek. A Turkish taxi driver in Melbourne thought I was being dishonest when I told him I have zero middle eastern nor Mediterranean blood in me. I might be olive, dark haired and dark eyed and short but I’m not from that part of the world so it’s not that I’m embarrassed about my identity, it’s just NOT my identity. Likewise some Lebanese neighbours cut off niceties when they heard my true ethnic heritage. The hummous and baba ganoush promptly stopped being handed over.
Likewise I get South American and once someone thought I was a Pacific Islander. Wow, I could work in espionage!
Absolutely no-one picks my heritage and that’s fine with me but don’t accuse me of being someone I’m not.