Thursday, August 18, 2011

Confession of an Alien

Unknown to many, an immigrant here in the US is called "alien". That is what the "A" stands for when you get your Green Card. The letter A is followed by a series of number which became your permanent ID number. Yes, we "aliens" are "numbered". hahahaha
 [Me, 4 years ago.]

It sounds a little discriminating at first but eventually I got used to it and it didn't really affect me that much. It's just a little disturbing though knowing what "alien" really means to "earthlings". LOL

When I came here 4 years ago, I really felt like an alien. When I go in the grocery, kids would stare at me either in pure bewilderment or animosity. I can't blame them, I don't look ordinary like most of the people they see around them. When I open my mouth to speak, people had to say "What's that again?" because they can't understand my "alien accent" or they probably thought I was speaking in "tongues". And yes, nobody can actually tell me apart from other Asian people living in our area because we "aliens" practically look alike. hahaha

After four years of doing my grocery in the same store, I finally realized the other day that I am an "alien" no more. Or maybe, I still am. It's just that those people I meet every weekend when I do my grocery shopping got used to seeing me hovering from isle to isle browsing on every items on the sale list. I probably look familiar already because they don't give me a bewildered look and even say "hi" and would even stop to say "how yah doin?" And yes, kids now smile at me whenever I pass by.

Normally, it will only take me about thirty minutes to get done with my grocery shopping. That is when I won't be reading all the back labels of all the stuff I wanted to buy. But recently, it takes me more than two hours to do my errand simply because I would bump to some people I know and would chat for an average of 30 minutes. Yes, and this happens most of the time. It would even take more than 10 minutes for me to finish my bank transactions in the bank [which is located inside the grocery too] because I would have a chat with the Teller. And yes, Lindsey, my bank Teller and I are in "first name basis". We would even chat and catch up even if we see each other some place else.
[Me, with my "Earthling" friends.]

My Two Questions:
1. Did you ever feel like an alien or a foreigner in your own home?
2. How did you deal with the feeling of being alienated?

It's been four years now since I left the Philippines and have not been back since then. Oh how I miss home. And though Maine is my home now... I still feel homesick being at home. Maybe next year... I might go back for a visit. But for now... Maine is home and I am no longer an Alien.


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This is my entry for Self Sagacity's Thursday Two Questions. To join and for more interesting 2 Questions entry... click HERE.

7 comments:

Cathy Kennedy said...

First off, I love Maine! It's such a beautiful state. You picked a nice new place to call home. I feel a little like an alien when I visit home and it's right here in the good ole USA. You may have heard the saying, "You can't go home again." Well...those sentiments really do stick. I simply feel like my old home isn't home at all. I miss things from my childhood, but can't ever revisit that time again.

I hope you’ll decide to check…
R is for Robin
Have a lovely weekend!

Your friend,
Cathy Kennedy, Children's Author
The Tale of Ole Green Eyes

sterndal said...

4 years?

ang tagal din pala

parang nakakainip naman yun


pero looks like enjoy ka naman sa maine :)

at in love :)

SquirrelQueen said...

I was raised in the southern US and when I lived there I spoke with the typical southern drawl. When I moved to Alaska people there would sometimes have trouble understanding me. I heard what did you say, a lot.

I learned to slow down my speech and speak more clearly. My accent is almost gone now but occasionally someone will mention it.

Gale said...

There's been many times I've felt like that...it was especially true for me as a teen (probably many teens feel that way). But around that time God showed me that if he loved me and accepted me as his own, the rest mattered less. Not that I didn't want to be accepted and belong...but knowing that I was accepted and belonged to God made it easier to deal with times where I was not accepted by those around me.

betchai said...

very good and also humorous post Ruthi. To answer your question,
1. Hmmm, somehow, I did not feel an alien here at all in my own home, SD, since everybody is different :) a mix of different culture, so we try to understand each other's uniqueness. Though sometimes I would say something that sound differently, but my students do try to understand them or ask me what I mean, haha!
2. I haven't had to deal with the feeling of being alienated, or I just did not mind them :(

Self Sagacity said...

Hi Ruthi, I felt like an Alien when I visited VietNam a few years ago. I read and write the language fine, however, the accents there are so much different and they spoke so fast. We couldn't understand each other. Even when the US immigrants spoke Vietnamese it isn't that fast, and that is a big difference between the Vietnamese there and the ones in the US.
Since I was there on a visit, I didn't really care to get un-alienated. But I remember the feelings you described coming over here at a very young age, it was not good. I am not going into that here, otherwise, it will be a few pages. lol

Icy BC said...

Ruthi, I did feel like an alien many years ago, especially after married out of own race. I'm now belonging to the world that I've spent most of my life in..

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