How many times have I heard that and said that?
It’s the end of the first week. And ever as I type that out I realize that it means 1/5 of the program is over but during the week it felt like so much has happened. The people I just met, Chacon and Christian, and the students in my Spanish class and also the others… we have definitely connected in ways that regular life in Estados Unidos would not allow.
A few day ago, Chacon and I were having coffee in Zona Rosa and we were talking about the things that annoy us about people with entitlement. In the conversation, admittedly, I got on my soapbox about Buddhism and Yoga and how globalization has in many ways removed its soul but has also brought a useful practice to more people – something that would have taken a lot longer pre-WWW era. Chacon paid me a compliment, albeit one that would offend others. He speaks English well and said that he learned it not because he wants to but because all the good books are in English. He prefers to learn Portuguese but English is the medium for his education. That is interesting, no?
The next day, while on our way to El Centro, we spoke about Asian culture. He, and Christian who is from Venezuela, said that they thought Asians were very closed. Christian had an interest in Asian culture but Chacon did not and Chacon told me that I have changed his impression about Asians. I know he meant this as a compliment and I received it as such but there is so much to unpack there.
This is not the first time I have heard this. I have been told by close friends that they do not see Asian in me or that when they look at me, they don’t think about my Asian-ness whereas with others being Asian is more prominent. I could see both positive and negative things about this.
Being in the life stage I am in now I am more curious and invested than ever before in my life to learn about being Chinese and to figure out which I embrace more – having ancestral roots in China or being born in Taiwan. So hearing about my Asian-ness, or lack thereof, sits differently with me now than in the past.
And in Mexico, we are the same. I saw a sign for a restaurant that said “Comida de Chino – Coreano” and made Jason laugh out loud from my exasperation. “No, no why would you do that? They already think we are all the same so why would we help them do that?” I’ll try and take a picture of that and add it to this post later.
That’s all for now.
Here is a random picture just because: