Apartheid Feelings

It feels strange being separated from the entire country–world–I was a part of for an entire month.  I mean, while it didn’t exactly give me the same euphoric sense that I’d had after I got back from Europe, it reminded me how much I love to travel.  How much I love being in an entirely different culture apart from my own.   It solidified in my mind that eventually I’m not going to live in America, and that I’m far more European than I thought.  I feel like perhaps I’ve already talked about this, but the point of a diary is to talk about what’s on your mind, yeah?  It dawned on me one night (heh, see what I did there?) that I’ve always been much more European:  the way I act, dress, eat and even how frugal I can be.  For the most part, I just never felt that I’ve fit in into traditional and stereotypical American culture.  I fount soccer-football far more entertaining than hockey or American football-football.  

Adjusting to the climate coming back to the states has been especially difficult.  For some reason, going to Africa I didn’t have any problems.  The jet lag caused me more trouble than the change in air pressure or whatever other phenomenon.  But coming back, I’ve had a few nose bleeds and all I got to say is that I hope they stop within the next few days, because after the third one they’re really starting to become an inconvenience.

I took the day off yesterday to just sit back, unwind and relax.  I mean, it was a Sunday after all so I supposed my return was well timed.  Today I started getting back to my school work: my real life of being an academic.  But I’m going to hone in my time management skills and try to balance relaxing and school work; I suppose I should try to have a real summer relaxing experience because after December and moving on to having a grownup life, I won’t get the chance to be young forever….

People ask me if I’ll go back to Africa, and people I met told me they hope I return.  While I don’t know if I will, I still think of them from time to time, and especially the two bracelets I bought reminds me of two distinct people from my trip.  It’s these people that, to me, are exemplary of the African spirit.  Despite all the things that whites have done to the continent, maybe it’s all a front, but there are people who are genuinely happy to show you their culture, their lives and talk to you like you’re an old friend.  I genuinely appreciate that; I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t.  

I feel like part of this is just the remnants of the “honeymoon” phase of travel, but I’ve always genuinely loved to travel, I’ve always meeting people entirely different from myself, people who make me realize that though America prides itself on being the melting pot, there are other countries that welcome other cultures, learn from them and are more than happy to host them.  I feel like in America, other cultures just kind of blend and mix and we sort of bypass the appreciation part of it.  Like, we adapt because we have to because we accept it as commonplace.  For example, having Spanish so common here, it’s a result of an influx of Mexicans, but I would say that there are few places where Mexican culture is genuinely appreciated in the average American society.  I hope that makes sense.  It does in my head.  As a writer, I’m doing my best to explain myself.  So many times to people talk and talking becomes shouting and nobody is listening.  If even one person can just shut everyone else up, maybe as an American society, we’ll start getting somewhere…

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