You can get culture shock when you’re
going back to your home country. This is going back a while – the longest I had ever been outside of my home country. Because I grew up in Chicago and I moved over to the Netherlands just to take a job for one summer… And 20 years later
I’m still here. So yeah – very long summer. I was living abroad in Amsterdam
for like a year and a half, and I went back to America. And there I was with a
layover in Atlanta, and I had jet lag. And I was just.. People-watching.
And I was looking around, and everybody looked… foreign. And I thought “That’s weird!
Because this is supposed to be Home!” But everybody looked just different, foreign –
and not just foreign but BACKWARD! Yes! And PRIMITIVE, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but my first reaction was like “how do you
people leave the house looking like this?” And I don’t know… I’m like “how did I get so judgmental?” “From living over there?”
But it was eyeglasses! I couldn’t stop looking at people’s eyewear. And all the frames
looked huge to me. And I thought “Maybe that’s a thing! I mean maybe that’s what happens when you leave the country for” “like a year and a half. Maybe trends
change, fashions change. There’s a whole” “new thing now with huge eyeglasses thatI’m just not aware of because I’ve been living over there.” BUT the real bolt of lightning happened when I realized: Nothing had changed
in America, at all! The only thing that had changed was my perception of what ‘Normal’ eyewear should be. Because my idea of normal was now based on these tiny
little thumbprint-sized lenses that Dutch people call Normal.
The rest of the world calls them Reading Glasses. It’s like: “It is a small country, and we
would not want to see too much of it at any one time.” And that’s Multiple Nationality Disorder. That’s normal for me now. Or – how about this? I went back to have some drinks with some friends of mine. In Chicago. And we were at the
bar and I was buying some drinks for the for the guys. And I was up at the bar, and
I could tell that they were looking at me, and they were pointing at me, and they
were laughing. And I said “Hey, what’s so funny?” And they said “what do you mean,
what’s so funny? You don’t know? Look at” “the way you’re dressed! You’ve been
living in Europe so long you look like a eurofag!” And that’s what they said in
front of everybody. you look like a eurofag. And I’m like “that’s not cool…
what is that even supposed to mean?” And they’re like “look at you with your
skinny jeans and your skinny” “tailored suit… you look like a gigolo.” And I looked at my friends and the first thing I noticed was they were
all wearing the matching combinations of oversized sports t-shirt and the jeans that are ‘baggy-fit,’ ‘loose-fit’ or – not even the ones that are
like trendy, hanging-off-your-ass. “No no, these are just like the ones that are designed to hide some stuff.” Iam thinking “I bought these clothes
in Europe, it’s true. But I bought them” “because they fit the shape of my body.”
And these guys are wearing, you know this there, and this here… And then down
below it’s like the athletic footwear! From here to here, it’s like “I should lose some weight…” But from here down it’s like “Oh yeah, I’m working out all the time! I’m just off-setting all this up here!” And I can’t make fun of them because for them that’s “Normal!” That’s Multiple Nationality Disorder: when you no longer feel 100% at home anywhere. That is MND.
And that is what this show is about.