No One Stared At Me

“When you’re a minority, it’s hard to grow as a person.”

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Transcript for No One Stared At Me

I went to Xi’an, China—that’s where they have the Terracotta warriors.  And I went because there was a program with the school.  They had a partnership with one of the universities there.  And I remember, you know, the day I got out of the—I got off the plane and, you know, I just—I just already thought I felt at home, maybe because I look like everyone around there.  No one would know anything.  I remember like, in Humboldt, sometimes I’d walk around town and a couple people would stare at me, but when I was over there, no one stared at me.  I think because, I just look like the whole—the whole local population.  I just look like them.

You know, I made a lot of good friends over there.  I actually went back this past summer to see them.  I went back to, you know, the little area where my apartment was.  There’s one place where they cut hair.  And then when I got there, then she asked me, she was like, ‘So, how long has it been since you’ve been here?’  And I asked her, so, you know, ‘You remember me?’  And then we just had a little conversation.  You know, that kind of strengthened the feeling of home there.  I mean, she didn’t know a thing—she didn’t know anything about me.  I just told her where my family was from, but I didn’t really say I grew up there.  You know, it was like they grew up in Southern China.  She probably still thinks I’m from there.

For the first time, I didn’t feel like a  minority.  And I think that’s what changed the experience for me compared to other people who go to China and then suddenly they are the minority.  Sometimes I just feel like when you’re the minority it’s just…  It’s hard to grow as a person because of the challenges you face as—you know, with assimilation, and you have to balance out cultural differences from your family and the majority.  But, you know, when I was in China just—I didn’t feel like I had to do anything.