When Minori and I were dating, back in the old days in Iowa, he and I were taking classes which dealt with an inconceivable concept: diversity. Since I couldn’t understand how people had such difficulty getting along with others based on their levels of melanin, I never got to fully adapt to the life in Dubuque.
Once, we were all asked if we had ever been in an interracial relationship. I said yes, although I never thought it was a matter of races but rather one of countries, cultures. I guess I was just trying to speak in their terms, something which I rarely did while there. Minori was asked the same thing in his class. However, his answer was no. On my question why, he simply replied, “we are the same.”
I can assure the culture shock in the States was far greater than the one I’ve had so far in Japan. One could say it’s due to the fact I lived with Japanese people for little less than a year, which makes me think of kaitenzushi and Yukimi Daifuku when remembering Chicago. It’s ridiculous, anyway, knowing that I live 3.5 hours away from Miami by plane, and that my people try to emulate people there.
The real shock, though, was finding out that the young ones here are very different from the way Minori used to be then. I was very naïve to think this was a country of Minori-tachi, just as it was to think that Peru was full of Maladjusted-look-alikes. And Colombia is certainly not teeming with Himuras.
Anyway, I’m deviating.
The day I understood how to deal with the American people was the very day I left Dubuque. Of course, having eaten kare raisu for dinner every night, it’s not like I’m full of memories from the Mississippi riverbank. Or maybe I am… But it’s taken me an awfully long time to digest them.