Tonight I ate Krispy Kremes and watched “The Perks of Beinga Wallflower” with an American friend and her teenage daughter. I had read the book when I was in high school and remembered how popular it was, how it was one of those books everyone my age was reading. As I reached the custard center of my donut, my friend’s daughter explained the inner workings of the eighth-grade social scene. I found her descriptions of some of her classmates fascinating, especially in light of my interest in the young adult genre of literature.
I thought it would be especially difficult for a teenager to become acclimated to living in Qatar, but she’s doing just fine. She enjoys playing games of “Spot the Americans,” in which she approaches people looking suspiciously American and inquires about their nationality. I would like to play this game from a distance, but I’m not bold enough to approach total strangers. Still, I think it might help to break down some of the rigid antisocial attitudes in this city.
Sometimes this game produces something useful, like information on where to buy imported American snack foods. After seeing a man eating from a box of Cheezits, she approached him and asked if he was American, followed by a blunt “Where’d you get those Cheezits?”
Don't you just love teenagers?