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12 years in :: 12 years out

If someone were to ask me where I was from, I would say, “Arkansas.”

I lived in Arkansas from 5th grade through college graduation.

I haven’t lived there since.

Recently, I realized that I’ve lived in China for 12 years.

That’s the same amount of time I lived in Arkansas, but I don’t consider China my home. Sure, the food is great. The people are nice.

But it takes .2 seconds for me to walk out my door to have locals pointing and proclaiming, “Foreigner!”

No matter how long I’ve lived here, there’s always someone in the market or on the street corner who needs to verbally confirm that I am, indeed, foreign.

Tonight, as I ran around the track a Chinese boy, probably age 8, decided to run beside me and yell, “Hello Foreigner! Hello Foreigner!”

The welcome never stops.

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