Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My ET Reaction

You know the part in ET when they go trick or treating and ET gravitates toward the kid who's dressed like Yoda with his little "Ooooo!" sound? Yeah, that's me these days. Let me explain.

While I feel like I am adjusting to the States and don't feel nearly like the alien I anticipated, there's an involuntary reaction that takes place whenever I am near or see anyone Asian. I call it my ET reaction. I want to move toward them, listening for their language. Often I am disappointed - they are Korean or Japanese (nothing against Korean or Japanese, but I can't speak their languages). When I do hear Chinese, my heart skips a beat. I want to jump in and be part of their conversation, but it's usually about something ordinary like the cost of the item on the shelf. I also find that people are weirdly shocked when I speak Chinese with them in America. I imagine they don't have a category for that.

So I'll just be content to move closer and smile and let it remind me of a place I love. And I'll try not to make that noise that ET makes, because that would be creepy.


  1. I can relate. Although I get more excited by food than language ... probably bc I am did not do well in that sphere. M gets very excited when he hears Mandarin. In Paris, the waitress at the chinese restaurant didn't speak english so he ordered in Mandarin. Then, when another english speaking customer enquired about making a booking, M acted as a translator between the two. Was all a little surreal.

  2. I bet! It's been fun to keep up with your transition as well.