Identity mash

Out in my kilt twice last week … once for the Irish and once for the Scots.  The gatherings – and some of the people I met there – had me thinking lots about identity and personal history, and all of that odd mash-up of things that go into making you “you”.  And the more (or the further) you’ve traveled, the more complex it gets … which can be a source of richness or of confusion, depending on how you take it!

Anyway:  had some great encounters … one with a Scot of Pakistani origin now based mainly in the US;  one with a woman who’s now a US citizen (married to an American) who grew up in Czechoslovakia, and had just turned 18 when the Berlin Wall fell (on which more in my 28 October post) … fascinating to talk to her about different perspectives on East Berlin, which we’d have been visiting at the same time;  and of West Berlin, where I lived, but which she could only imagine.

The kilt, as ever, caused a stir walking home up Michigan Avenue … and, yes, someone asked me what I was wearing under it.  Nothing so awful as once, in Luxembourg, when a woman at a reception actually lifted the back of it to have a look for herself.  The liberties some people take …


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