Imagine you ask somebody which country they are from originally (I probably wouldn’t as some people may not want to speak about this or they may feel upset that they accent shows). Imagine you have got some kind of reply. Would you then rushed into saying that oh, yes, you heard about that country, it’s well known for (pick from the list) evil government, racism, slavery, crime, bureaucracy, obesity, poverty, injustice, unemployment, etc?
Similar conversions happened to me twice last week. People honestly expect to maintain friendly conversation started with these accusations. I do love to criticise my native Russia when appropriate. But when strangers are talking to me in this manner it is like being held responsible for all negative news stories or just pure propaganda is completely different. Another thing that drives me mad is when strangers start to treat me as a zoo animal, discussing my cheekbones, shape of the face or accent.
I thought that after 15 years living abroad I would get used to that. Apparently not. I still feel afraid to talk to stangers.