When I was a young Jook-sing, went to Chinatown with my Father over a 100 dozen times. Everytime I was in Chinatown, I have never felt someone being out of place. In my mind, while in Chinatown, my whole mentality is that I look like everyone else. I eat Chinese, look Chinese, because I am Chinese, despite being an Jook-sing. I didn’t have to second guess who I am. As I was walking around Chinatown over the years, you can tell who are the tourists and who are part of the neighborhood community. The tourists are the ones that always ask questions like where to eat or where to go .
However, a couple of weeks ago, I was at a Stop & Shop in Hadley, MA. I was visiting a friend and I had to grab a couple of things before getting there. When I walked toward the front entrance, I use my Jedi mind trick to have the doors slide open. When in reality, it was the sensor that triggered the doors to slide open electrically; a guy could dream right. Well back to my story, when I entered inside, right away, I noticed my surroundings. In my mind, I knew I was going to stick out. I mean, I have been to a Stop & Shop over a 100 dozen times but not the one in Hadley, MA, I haven’t. I grabbed a basket and made my way around the aisles. I couldn’t help but feeling singled out. I have never felt like a tourist, unless, I was in a different state but that’s when it’s alright but not in Stop & Shop. I even had to stop and ask an employee about an item I was looking for, I guess I am a tourist now. While inside, my ears and eyes became more ATTENTIVE than ever. When I finished gathering all the items I needed, I was still unsettled. I went straight to the self-checkout aisle like I usually do in the other Stop & Shop.
I scanned all my items, I’m was about to pull out my wallet to pay. The grocer begins to bag all my items. I look over and I felt so foolish, overly paranoid over nothing, betrayed by my own mind. At that moment, I felt like a tourist, an outsider, a mismatch. I imagine the grocer only saw one thing, another HUMAN BEING buying groceries like EVERYONE ELSE. I graciously thanked the grocer for packing my items. When I walked away, all the outsider mentality I had, has left my mind.
I just want to say, even with everything going on with this world right now, we as human beings shouldn’t have to worry about our skin color, even when you are in place you feel like you don’t belong. The truth is that you do belong because in the end, you are a human being and that’s all that counts for, nothing else matters, don't let your mind betray you. And I wish, I could say again to that grocer, thank you for reminding me.