Less than 80 hours ago, I was still in the other city across the atlantic ocean. My life there continued until the last second when my plane took off. Three luggages, that’s all lI have with me and here I am, moved to New York city before I even realize.
Three days have passed, though feeling like ages. I’m in this surreal state of mind, don’t yet realize what this all means to me. I was busy with everything – literally everything.
The second I put down my bag, I started apartment hunting. researching all the best ways to look for roommates. Catching up with friends, going to company orientation, opening bank account, setting up US phone number, watching Cinderella Broadway show, night snack in Korean town. That was just my first day…
The new in town feeling is always good. This time it feels weird because nothing has hit me yet. Everything seems so familiar, all I need to do is keep making the to do list and keep ticking it off. I have never lived here before but my whole life I have been embraced into this culture. American culture has been a strong influence in my value and personality since a long long time.
Never say it too early, I haven’t started working yet. Maybe this will hit me really hard when I actually start. But either way, nothing will be as different as English culture to me. As much as I love London, I don’t know if I will ever fit in there. I mean, really blend in like a melting pot.
The first day when I started my orientation, the company benefit lady was kindly chatting with me. She was happily telling me about all the amazing places she has been to, her funny adopted dog from the Chinese neighbours could only understand orders in Chinese. The instant click with strangers is what I miss the most! People do not stare at me when I compliment their dress when they pass by. Actually many pedestrians have done that to me, both men and women! It’s a culture that chatting with strangers is OK! I don’t know how many people would understand when I say I feel the sense of freedom and liberty when I go to New York. It’s strange to many because there seem to be so many different metropolitan cities in the world. But there is no single one that embrace multi-cultural as good as the big apple. My biggest and strongest feeling is that I am no longer the minority. Most of the people here are either from another country or have double nationalities. Many speak more than one languages and they are interlinked with other cultures. It’s all part of their life. Seeing a well-travelled Chinese person doesn’t surprise or impress them, because I did what everyone else does. It’s a sense of belonging that I fit in. This is a place where people embrace beauty of all kind, where policies are made to ensure the ethnicity equality for employee rights. No one stares at me here as I look different, no one pays less attention to me because I’m not Caucasian.
I have to say, I am not treated badly in London, not at all. I have many beloved friends who care about me just for who I am. But the industry I’m in, it’s hard to ignore that I am the token Chinese, sometimes asian person on the whole floor.
Being surrounded by one dominant culture has never been my thing. I love and thrive in a culture where diversity is appreciated and respected. I am always fascinated by how many places my friends are from. Everyone is from different places, been to different places and going to different places in the future. Our path just crosses in certain point in time. Never sad to leave, as we know we may see each other again. Sometimes this feels like planting seeds all over the world, take care of them and let them grow. No matter where you go later, you can always collect them and have great friends await in your upcoming journey!
No where else in the world that the pension lady will chat to me about her son and girlfriend, telling me about the Chinese grandmother making fish soup to her family, hard to find a lady that well travelled, knowledgeable, and kind with great sense of humour! She knows Flushing( a residential area in Queens where 90% are Chinese people) 100 times better than I do!
No where else in the world that the bank account manager will start googling images of new girl during our account set up meeting after I told her she looks like Jess. (She really does! identical!)
No where else in the world that I get that many compliments in the world. It’s the kind of compliment that gives you the sense of confirmation that they accept beauty of all kinds.
No where else in the world has ever given me that much confidence and sense of belongings. I love New York city, a place where I am no longer the minority that gets different attention. A place where I can open up and completely be myself while feeling proud and happy about it.
There are enough Chinese friends for me to keep my tie with China and there are so many more people from all over the world that appreciate and loves the city the same way I do. We all come here for our own dreams.
Over dinner yesterday, out of the six of us, there were IT geeks, entrepreneurs, marketing professional, English, American, Indian and Chinese people. I was always afraid of playing pub quizzes with English people because the culture knowledge is always different.
All in all, I love where I am. 🙂 All I want now is a room in a nice apartment in Manhattan.