The wisdom of an older generation

I was talking to one of the Asian attendings in the hospital a few days back, and he was giving me the first generation perspective, where I was offering back the second generation perspective, and he pulled me aside in the hallway and leveled with me.

"These people in the Midwest, they're friendly. They seem nice, but don't be fooled into thinking you're one of them, because no matter how much you act like them, all they see is your skin and your eyes."

This isn't the first time that I've heard this. It's a rallying cry for first generation immigrants. I used to think that this was paranoia or misunderstanding, but as I've gotten older, I've realized that it's true. I'm not white. I'm not one of them.

Even though I love the Midwest, I'm thinking about the East or West Coast, somewhere where it's a little more normal to be Asian, because as much as I like to think that I'm just another guy, I'm the Asian guy. And it's not that people are trying to lynch me, but it's a very subtle recognition that I don't belong here.

3 comments:

Dr. Luke Van Tessel said...

I gained 60 pounds and have avoided the sun to the point of now looking like I was sewn together from fish bellies, and I'm still not one of them. I'm white, but I'm still not white enough for these honky, plaid-wearing, cornfed, grape-juice-drinking denizens of Wal-Mart. The whole Big Slab outside of Chicago and Madison looks like the last frame of Casino.

Yeah, for you the Midwest is the generically pretty girlfriend you're not ready to admit you don't want. I'd move to Seattle. They have Asians and coffee and misery. Trifecta.

TigerLily46 said...

That totally sucks. I'm sorry you feel like such an outsider. I'm starting to feel the same way about being in the midwest because everybody is freaking MARRIED.

I hope MB gets out of the midwest soon because I'm sick of reading his constant bitching about it.

JJ said...

Coming from a background similar to yours (except I'm a chick), I agree. Although even on the coasts, the white people here don't still don't see you as one of them. But at least there are more Asians so you don't feel like you stick out as much.