Tag Archives: USA

America!

1 May

“Passports!  Have our passports out!”

I could recognize the accent anywhere.  There  is nothing quite like the New York City accent, that tells me that I am ‘home’.  In the land of my birth, the land of my family.

The NYC cop scratched his crotch, flipped through my passport, welcomed me back to the States and winked at me.

Welcome home.

I cried from Lima to Panama, reflected and wrote from Panama to NYC.  Smiled at having the friendly face of my uncle waiting for me at JFK (what a nice change from having to negotiate taxi fares in a foreign country, arriving on my own in a new place).

All through my travels, people have asked me about food in the USA.  What is your typical food?  And I always respond — your food – as I try to explain that we are a country of immigrants, a land of diversity.

Last night, standing in the immigration line, I was struck by that diversity in coming back to the US — for the first time in 8 months, not everyone had dark hair, dark skin, short in height.  Now – there were people surrounding me with all sorts of hair colors, different skin tones, different languages, different heights.

Today, riding the subway – I wanted to connect with people who looked like they came from places I have traveled.  The man who could have been from India.  The woman who looked Vietnamese.  The man who looked Peruvian.  I wanted to tell them – ‘I know your country.  I love your country.  I am just a traveler here too’.

So, I am back.  Caught in the in-between — both a citizen and a visitor.