My favorite cartoon character of all time

My favorite cartoon character of all time
Russel - an epitome of conviviality

Saturday, October 17, 2015

No matter what road we travel, all road leads to home

Travelling... leaving home for an exotic and unfamiliar locale surely  evokes excitement. 

When I was growing up in the sleepy barrio in the Southern Philippines, I am always wondering what lies beyond the mountains and the seas that enclosed my little world. But this notion was in between my preoccupation of  trying to get ahead with  the childhood game of tumbang preso so that I won't  end up being labeled as bagoong (salted paste made from shrimps and small fish).

 Later on in life, I developed an  insatiable itch for discovering what lies further the confines of my abode. I considered those travels as one most important chapter of my adult life. These are experiences and memories that like education, are always portable  and it goes with you all the time.  I was wondering why to  some people, traveling
is such a daunting task, an interruption to their prosaic life.  As if, they are about to leave their cocoon, that stepping outside their comfort zone is akin to doing a bungee jumping sans the cord or agreeing to marrying a man you met online 15 minutes ago.

What makes the idea of leaving to explore other places very exhilarating to me  is the thought that I will be coming back home.   That my home will always be there waiting, ready to welcome  me unconditionally, no need for reasons for my return; compels me to seek, explore and learn from these foreign domain. 

As Japanese poet Sensho (?) asserted , no matter what road we travel, all roads leads to home. And I will be coming home soon.   

It's Alive and Kicking in Chesterfield Missouri

Having lived the first 44 years of my life in a homogeneous society like the Philippines, racism was kind of a vague issue to me. But when  I moved to United States and married an American , I was slowly introduced to this kind of order in America. 

I became an honorary black woman.  I said that because I embraced not only him but also his "people" but still maintain my Filipino values and culture . Color blind as I am in my relationship with my husband and his family, I am was also aware of  the ugly presence of discrimination and racism  that lurks from time to time being a mixed couple - a black man and an Asian woman. My husband told me he was used to it and he understands why I was perplexed by it in considering the society where I came from.   We suffered the curious looks, the disappointed looks, why I married a black man look, why did he marry an Asian look ,why did you take away our man look , maybe she just needs a green card  look,  you name it we experienced it. And this were from white, black and even my from my own people  As the years go by, we got used to it, that we do not care anymore.  Life is to short to fuzz about skin color, sexual orientation,  financial status etc. 

But this afternoon, I never would imagined that I would actually hear a racist remark pointed at us. Those looks can be ignored and it can be interpreted in many different ways but when racist words are spoken, its on a different level.

We were famished after doing our shopping in a mall in Chesterfield .  We were scouting the area for a place to spend a nice lunch since we seldom frequent this location. My husband saw Mimi's cafe along Chesterfield airport Road and he told me he always wanted to take me there since he dined there years ago. 

I had the gut feeling from the time we entered the restaurant that this was not a welcoming place. Diners looked at us like we were from outer space. The waiter who was opening the door looked at us curiously and did not even greet us , he led us to our table near a couple probably in their late 60's. The couple ogled at us and they kept at looking at each other trying to  communicate wordlessly . When we were seated the wife said  to her husband " of all places " , the husband apparently did not hear it, so she repeated " of all places" , the husband replied, "yes I know" . Sarcastically implying that of all places why would a couple like us should be seated  beside them or should be even be in this restaurant. 

My husband asked me get up and he addressed the woman, " We are sorry that we are inconveniencing her" and we left the place. 

I got upset and I told my husband I should have subjected the couple to a gut wrenching Filipino  curses that not even a single celled organism cannot stomach for being  such ignorant person.  My husband  told me that we should not stoop to their level. And I agree. 

Our mixed couple shaming experience in Wyoming seems cute compared to our Chesterfield episode. 
Next time I hear something like this, I am going to roll my eyes and give them my saccharine smile  and  softly say #$@^%^ +)*!! in Filipino.