Bad VladAs anyone who knows anything knows, the two greatest exports of Romania are Dracula and orphans. However, if you were a German citizen of the city of Munich, circa 1997-1999, you might have thought there was a third export: ME, Jenny Drai! Isn't that funny?
At first this came as a big shock to me because whenever I asked my Dad what nationality we were--usually in response to some class project that would inevitably end in one student bringing in Lithuanian baked goods to share (LOTS of powdered sugar) and another kid showing up for class in some sort of Balinese get-up--he would just say that I should tell everyone we were American-whatever the heck that might mean.
But what did he expect me to do when it was my turn to present? Sing My Country Tis of Thee as I waved an American flag in everyone's face? In short, the answer is yes.
After all, didn't Grandpa purposefully forget every word of Romanian and shed a vowel from his last name before he signed up to fight in WWII? And before that, didn't my forefathers participate in the greatest fight of all: Chicago's epic battle against Prohibition, by making wine in their bathtub that they sold for rolls of cash to shady dudes who definitely bore relations to the mob?
But nobody in Munich ever suspected the American in me! No doubt this is because the first thing I did upon setting foot in the heart of Bavaria was to lose 20 lbs and trade in my slouchy, oversized wardrobe for cheap Versace and Gucci knock-offs purchased at H&M with cash well-earned from nannying the baddest little boy in the world, to whom I will only refer to here as L. Also I spoke German quite well with only an untraceable accent (mostly thanks to a previous residence in the country in the vast, depressing, it's-always-drizzling Schlesswig-Holstein), somethings most Germans think Amis (as we are called) are incapable of doing.
Luckily, I was able to pick up some great house-cleaning gigs though! Because cleaning women, after all, are another great import!!
Signing off--Jenny Draia (now wouldn't that have been pretty??)