Tuesday, April 29, 2008

B'Day of Emperor Showa, Stingy Hawks and Enchantment of Minority






Being in minority keeps me from going blind.

In Ho Chi Minh, the only Japanese phrases I uttered were “Konbanwa” and “Hai, genki desu.” Some coffee shop waiters were saying to me, “Ni hao ma?” For the past few weeks at least, the only occasions where I spoke any Japanese were two gatherings of “Meetup” I attended, especially last Saturday’s. Whether in Vietnam or Singapore or anywhere else, these situations make me realize that I’m a “gaijin.” That’s one of the most interesting, attractive and even inspiring opportunities that one can have overseas.

I have a lovely confusing example as to how one can be a minority or international. Early this year, I borrowed a book from my good Indian friend. The book was originally written by a Brazilian author in Portuguese. The edition I borrowed was in English and I read it in Vietnam and Cambodia. Totally confusing but I like this kind of mixture, which I call the beauty of impurity.

If most things go unquestioned because many people accept them as they are, there is no development. Overseas or not, but especially overseas, one should go beyond his or her natural boundary and explore what’s there over it. What’s the point of living overseas if you stay with your own tribe in the first place?

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