“Oh, you’re just kidding! I don’t believe it.” My roommate said peering over her glasses in classic librarian fashion as she dangled her feet off the top bunk. “There can’t be homeless people in America, Kelsey. How is that even possible?”
Several evenings a week my five Hungarian roomies and I would sit on our bunks, comparing life in the States and life in Hungary (no, the capital isn’t “Thirsty” and people there aren’t “hungry.” But if you do ever find yourself feeling hungry in Hungary, you have got to try a bowl of goulash).
Hungry Americans was a novel concept for my roommates. The fact I not only had the word “homeless” in my vernacular, but I’d seen and even been on a first-name basis with homeless individuals was contrary to everything they’d believed to be true about my homeland. My roommates, though, were not the only ones working through misconceptions that summer. In addition to my toothbrush and a pile of extra socks, I’d packed my fair share of stereotypes, too.