I am a foreigner. Though I may feel that I blend in with the society here, the fact is that I don’t. My appearance and my walk betray the fact that I am not native to this beautiful country where I now reside. I tend to forget that. Sometimes this place feels so normal to me that I don’t realize how I don’t look normal to everyone else!
An example of this occurrence can be found last week’s trip to the supermarket. One of my teammates relayed to me that there was a man talking about the foreigners in the market. As I craned my neck to glance around the aisle, I asked her, “Foreigners! Where?” She then laughingly informed me that we were the foreigners. I didn’t feel like a foreigner. I shop in that supermarket every week. I know on which aisles to find rice and tea and sugar. I am even familiar with the selection of music that they play. But to the man in the market I was a rarity that didn’t belong in the everyday shopping experience.
It’s a strange feeling: belonging and not belonging.