The image that continues to capture my concept of foreign was one taken by my good friend Chris during my first Chinese New Year in China in 2008. We had gone to Yu Yuan Garden with another friend and upon crossing the bridge of 8 turns he snapped this photo.
To me – foreign is not fitting in, knowing that there is a difference between me and others. As good as my mandarin may be, as many strange foods that I eat, I will always be foreign in China.
Being foreign can be fun – it opens my eyes, it gives me views of things that I would never see. I’ve visited so many wonderful places that if I was afraid to be foreign would be unavailable. And that’s the key – the balance, knowing that there are times that I need to go home or eat a pizza or watch TV in English to regroup and be foreign again tomorrow.
To see how others have defined foreign, you can check out the Weekly Photo Challenge here.
Where do you feel foreign? What places do you feel a little uncomfortable or a little different? Sometimes that can be a lot closer to home than my China trip.