“Where are you headed?”
“That’s Disney, right? What are you doing there?”
“I went to school there but now I’m going to see some family”
“But you’re not from there are you?”
“I’m Japanese American but I grew up in Japan. I’m visiting my American side of my family.”
“Yeah ‘cos you don’t look like you’re from the States but you speak perfect English.”
“So what brought you to Greece?”
“I was backpacking around Europe aimlessly for 3 months but ended up meeting my boyfriend here so I’ve been here 2 months now”
“Yeah I hear girls think Greek men are so hot”
“They are, but mines English brought up in Greece”
Which got me thinking, in any relationship I’m going to be in, there are a minimum of two cultures involved. Since we know that Third Culture Kids tends to gravitate towards other TCKs due to shared experiences of alienation and confusion, it’s more likely than not that I’ll end up with someone from another culture as well.
With the guy I’m currently seeing, he holds an English passport but has lived in Greece since he was five, making him not only bilingual but a Third Culture Kid. In our relationship, there are four distinct cultures, four languages spoken, and three passports.
The thing is, to us TCKs that’s pretty normal. Thinking back, 90+% of my boyfriends/partners/encounters have been of a different nationality and/or TCKs.
A friend I met in Thailand came to visit me in Greece a week ago. He’s Venezuelan but lives in Paris, and brought a Syrian friend who also lives in Paris. Between the four of us, there were seven cultures involved, and five different languages spoken. And all of us met in foreign countries.
It’s actually pretty spectacular.
Most people don’t get to immerse themselves fully in another culture, let alone four other cultures.
And it took one conversation with a stranger in an airport to figure it out.