In case you haven't been stalking me (cough Jack cough cough), I just returned from the land of the Vikings -- Norway. Now I used to believe that this is where us redheads came from, but apparently new studies have proved this false. My experience on being a redhead in Norway (as compared to Israel, where I traveled last year) is this:
I have never felt like I fit in so well! No one gawked at me. No one asked me why I was so pale. No one -- save for one Somalian immigrant -- got up in my face and harassed me for being a redhead or for just for having a vagina. This was SO refreshing but also slightly bewildering. I'm used to attention, dammit! Is this what the world will be like when, in a few years, my muscles have atrophied into cellulite, my breasts have fallen to the floor and my hair has faded to the color of pixie dust? Oh the woes of aging!
On the brighter side, I was mistaken for being Norwegian, Spanish, French and British…and only once did someone correctly identify that I was from the U.S. but only after he heard me speaking English. Not sure about the Spanish thing, but my co-worker said several Spaniards do have ginger tresses. I'm pretty proud of not being easily identifiable as I guess I do not look like a lazy, fat, loud, gun-wielding cow or however Americans are stereotyped. That is reassuring news.
The one thing that really summed up what it's like to be a redhead in Norway is what my traveling companion said to me at a parade in Oslo on Constitution Day: "E, there are people here who are paler than you are!" That's a win in my book.
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