I’m out of my home country (Switzerland) since about 10 years now and I’ve spent most of those years in places where it’s pretty obvious that I’m probably no local (European in Asia / Africa).
I feel like whenever I talk with anybody, no matter how casual or unimportant the conversation is, like for example talking to a taxi driver while going somewhere, or talking with the waiter at a bar while waiting for my drink, one of the first question is always the exact same “Where are you from?”. I don’t mind sharing my story with anybody who wants to know it, the reason why I get annoyed is because everybody is asking the same question while actually I really do not think the answer matters at all.
Whether I reply with “Switzerland” or any other random country that comes to my mind, how is the behavior of the person asking going to differ after knowing that? Obviously there are certain situations where this question makes sense, like when applying for a visa, but in >90% of the cases it does not matter at all.
Lately I’ve started trying to figure that out more precisely by giving various different answers like Russia, South Africa, Namibia, Argentina, Sweden (many people think that’s the same as Switzerland anyway and observed the reactions. As far as I could tell, unless I’m picking the wrong one which has some obviously bad relation ship with the country I’m currently in (e.g. say Norway in China), I could not see any difference.
The conclusion is I’ll continue giving out random answers and watch how the people react .