My friend and I were out running around town the other day and getting things ready for our new apartment. We were both pretty worn out and not really in the chatty mood when this story took place. Here is how my friend explained the interaction on her facebook page:
"So you're students?"
I looked at Karen. I don't feel like talking to strangers today, I whispered in English. Let's just nod and smile and say yes to anything he asks. Karen nodded.
"Yup, students." (actually, Karen works at an export company).
"But you speak our language; you must have been here a while... maybe a year or two?"
"Uh-huh." (reality: me -- 2.5 years, Karen -- 6 years)
"So what will you do when you finish school?"
"We're going to open our own business."
"Oh, teaching English?"
"More or less..." (Reality: we're starting a translation company)
"And you're from America?"
For the first time in this interaction, Karen's national pride got the best of her: "Actually, she's American, but I'm Canadian," she jumped in. The stranger and I both turned to look at Karen, but that was all she had to say.
Which just goes to show you that in the levels of "what it's okay to fudge the truth about," letting a Canadian be taken for an American is never okay.