Made in the USA
“Where can I find some sesame chicken,” I asked. “America,” she proclaimed.
This broke my heart.
I was confident that when I arrived to shanghai that everything media, movies, music, national geographic and mall food courts had declared to me about china were true. Far from the truth.
No one looks like “Liu Kang”. Pandas aren’t domesticated. Spring rolls are nowhere to be found.
America’s china is so much better than China’s China though.
Let me clarify.
America is very good at what he does. America will take a concept, a reality, or a piece of history and romanticize it to the point where you will walk away and think, “man, slavery wasn’t so bad. It was really a good economical decision.” He did that with China. He took a sweet people who work tirelessly for their families and somehow molded them into a karate-crazed congregations of twins.
But I miss that lie.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s times when I walk out my front door and anticipate tasting some type of mysterious meat that was just killed, skinned, and boiled in an alley and served on a rusted shopping cart. Then there’s other days when I would prefer to walk into a “China King”, see Pablo cooking in the back and order some Sweet and Sour chicken.
Mornings come when I love the fact that no one in my apartment building can understand me but can only reciprocate a smile that screams, “dude, I have no idea what you’re saying. I’ve actually never seen anyone as dark as you. Can I touch you? Forget asking, I’m just gone touch you anyway.” Yet, some evenings have come when I’d like to play a good game of Taboo with some Chinese Americans who only shop at American Eagle and have nothing but Lil’ Wayne in their iTunes.
America, I hate you.
You lead me to believe that China was just a more closed-eyed, Triad-ruined version of you. False.
The other day I saw a Chinese woman who had to be at least 6’7. Last weekend, I saw a mother allowing her son to urinate in the bushes, right on the street. He was 13! That’s not American.
My time here has continued to reshape my worldview about this globe we stroll on daily. So many misconceptions, inaccurate facts, man-made opinions drown our feeble minds that whenever your bubble is forcefully busted you have no other option to be humbled.
I have been.
It’s been refreshing. As the sun rises every morning I continue to be rocked with the fact that this Earth oozes with different nationalities, people groups, ethnicities that there’s no need for some second-hand version created thousand of miles away.
So, sorry America, I no longer need your China.
Even if it is better.
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