I have some friends who are from Romania. They are nice people, here legally, and hard workers (They started as night time cleaners at the office where my wife used to work. They now both have office jobs, that they got in part by impressing the bosses/owners). They are trying to assimilate- they have back yard cook outs and speak English very well. However, they have only lived here for a few years and still have a lot of habits from the "old country" (duh). One of my favorites is there version of moonshine- home made plum liquor- similar to the Slivovitz my grandfather used to drink. Anyway my wife and I were out with them -at a Mexican restaurant, I told you they were assimilating- and the topic of gardens came up, and from there the conversation moved to cooking, then to thoughts on child safety. Then they said it, well she said it and he backed her up; "You two understand (us), you're not like regular Americans." I know they meant it as a complement, but it pissed me off so f-ing much I wanted to start yelling. Instead I tried to explain how, if anything, we are definition of the American family- work, vote, pay taxes (but bitch about them), head to country to decompress, own a house in the 'burbs, happily married, two kids. When the first gulf war broke out I joined the Marines because I thought it was my duty, hell we even own one car from each of the big three, and I've got a 20 foot flag pole in my front yard that flies nothing but Old Glory. I started to go on about how the two of us had family members from all the big immigration periods, my wife is part American Indian, and we both had family who fought in the Revolutionary War, but my wife stopped me. They still said, "Yes but.." Truth is I was mad by this point and don't really remember what they said. After my little rant they were still firm in there beliefs. Like I said, I know they meant it as a complement, but it makes me wonder what they thought the US was going to be like. They obviously still have some strong preconceived notions about Americans. Thanks for letting me vent.