What is Home?

February 14, 2009
By xingster23 BRONZE, Lexington, Kentucky
xingster23 BRONZE, Lexington, Kentucky
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

All around me, never-ending, swarming, faces of the People bobbing in and out of sight. They don't blink or glance at me, always in their busy states of mind. This is such a different aspect; the homogeneity of the ethnic variation is astounding. I supposedly felt they had the same 'skin color' and 'race' as me, but I fell both homely and distant. I had been used to my sharp contrast with the others back in the States. But here, there were so many who looked just like me! Everywhere! Clustered to the corner in the wall, with no escape in sight. There could not be a single place of solitude or silence! I 'fit' in the crowd, and simply blended in with the monotonous drone of life in urban China.

Smoke is clogging up my throat and lungs. I irritably try to swallow a glass of water in my already scratchy throat. Tourists are shouting and swearing to the drivers and in sharp disparity, the men in suits and tuxedos are the loudest ones. I attempt to run inside, but when I get there I stare back at the grey melancholy sky of the evening. But just as I contemplate the setting, I am pushed and shoved, almost being h it by a mad taxi. Of course, I don't want to try to downgrade the values that each person should hold in their ethics. Then I see a white person in the shade of the crowd, and it becomes unusually awkward. Through my eyes, I see a unique businessman or traveler; but his only vision of me is another Asian youngster. Where is my identity?

I smell the delicious spices and vegetables cooked over hot pans and pots on the street. Cheap pirated goods are plentiful in stores and malls, and I go on an outrageous shopping spree while trying to decode the strange signs and direction labels (My comprehension of the language is not that up to date). A dull cracked stoned building actually was and interesting bazaar that sold the 'latest fashions and styles of clothing. I laugh at the advertisements that contain language translators with that eccentric Canadian man grinning on them. There is chaos, but unity exists among the People.

Often I see myself in the clash of two cultures, certainly almost anywhere I go. The thing is, the People's Republic of China is such a different place than the United States. It is a feeling I cannot truly describe to full extent because of the variety of differing opinions, environments, people, and attractions. I can run wild across the bluegrass from county to country, and roam freely without the pester of society or civilization. It is delightful sometimes to just walk down to the mailbox and absorb the breezy wind and sunshine.

My family and I get off the plane back to the United States, and go through customs and border security. My dad points to a long line for us to go through, but I look at another sign and it states 'U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents'. We get to the booth even before ' of the people in the other line (Visa & visitors) have been through. The passport official checks off our materials, and tells us 'Welcome home.' But what is my real home?
Then I step into the hood, specifically the north side of town. There are houses and apartments not quite down to poverty standards, but a sense of gloom surrounds the block. The youngest generations are striving to succeed in school, but one's social acquisitions are necessary to sustain reputations. The struggle of determination is challenging to some, limiting their opportunities. I feel that everyone needs to take education seriously and be involved in it every day, although many do not take that procedure. It feels somber to me that there exists a gap in this little town we call Lexington today.

The important idea I learned is that without any quirkiness or queerness, no one will be able to stand out. Two giants, but two separate cultural ideologies. We don't quite understand each other, and our differences may just be misunderstandings. I hope that there is a day where everyone can view each other with colorblindness and tolerance. I received my US Citizenship October 2008, after 15 years of living here, yet I still have my ties to my longing homeland in the ancient brilliant capital of Beijing. I believe that both places have been my home, and they must both coexist for me.

The author's comments:
Of Robert Frost's two paths taken and less taken, I trailblaze through the snow in unexplored territory

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