It is no secret how I feel about living in the United States. I am not living here because I wanted to, but I am here because my heart led me to reside in this country. My husband knows so well how I dislike being away from home, and I would tell him every once in a while that I can just flip one day and I’ll return back home. To this he always says: I’ll go with you wherever you’re going.
Today’s experience is one classic day in the life of an immigrant(though, I am a US citizen on papers, I still don’t fit the bill of being American). I got on the elevator where we live, and one white, american woman probably in her early 70’s was there. She cheerfully greeted me with a smile and here’s how the conversation went:
old woman: have you been out earlier?
me: no, i’m heading out the first time today.
ow: you must be working for someone here.
me: no I live here with my husband
ow: oh, I thought you’re working here.
me: no, I stay home and I live with my husband, I work for him
(laughter) —end of conversation—-
See? She was assuming I work as a househelp for a white family. People here assume I’m a worker because of these reasons:
1. I am not white – I am not black or brown, if cream is a color to describe one’s skin, that’s where I fit in. Most of the helpers around here are people with color.
2. I look Asian – and Asians are branded as live-in helpers.
The area where we live in is predominantly white, most of which are practicing the Jewish religion. This is certainly not my first encounter as I have been experiencing the same thing more so when I just moved in with my husband and that was in another building in the same area. I must say though, that it’s n ot only the white people that assume and think the same way. A lot of the employees working for the development where we live at are people with color, and when I was new around the neighborhood, a few of them would say to me more so when it hit 5:00 p.m. and they see me heading out “you must be going home, you’re done for the day.”
My life in Manila was the exact opposite. I had my own place in a neighborhood that regarded me well. That’s why, can you blame me if I don’t like it here? Modesty aside, I didn’t have to leave Manila, to experience this life. I had a real GOOD LIFE (thank you very much), in a place where I was regarded as a first class citizen.
Reality is, racism does exist in America in so many different ways . I can hardly wait to get on that plane that will take me home for good. The home that welcomes me and where I am considered a first class citizen. I will have no problem bringing along my husband with me, as I know for sure, he will be treated with respect by my fellow Pinoys.
This is it for today…in My World.