I’ve landed, but where am I? In German, to arrive, “ankommen,” is understood to be a longer process, one that could take days or weeks.
I am half-Chinese, half-German and have never been anything else. It never occurred to me that this would be an issue to other Chinese.
Ben Huh, 33, is the CEO of the Cheezburger Network, the Internet company that owns “I Can Has Cheezburger?” Huh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, grew up between South Korea, Hong Kong and California.
“A school friend once described us as citizens of the world,” said TCK Clarissa Beeson, an attorney working in London. “I think that is rather apt. We are made up of so many different parts that together form a whole.”
So this is the tragedy of being a global citizen, intercontinental.
“Holy shit, you’re not black?” the patient exclaimed as he examined me from head to toe. My partner and the two police officers burst out laughing. “No sir, I’m more of a twinkie,” I said.
I don’t think anyone ever saw it coming. The creation of a non-American American. In other words, me. Third Culture Kids often mock Americans for thinking that they are the center of the world. But few will admit that the statement is absolutely true. American dominance is prevalent in every corner of the globe. From Microsoft to Britney Spears to Barack Obama, the rest of the world is indoctrinated into American culture. But while the lasting value of American cultural exports is difficult to measure, their international institutions offer a very quantifiable example of their influence. As a consequence of this globalization, you don’t need to set foot in America to be an American. My family is from Hong Kong. I grew up in Singapore. I spent less than three months in America before moving to Chicago for college four years ago. Yet, “I thought you were American!” was one of first things Americans would say to me. That usually came after an introduction (“Hi, I’m Steph”) and a qualifying statement (“I am from Singapore”). …