“Talking to myself and feeling old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothing ever seems to fit
Hanging around, nothing to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down”
So said the anorexia-ridden Karen Carpenter back in her heydays. It’s depressing music to listen to, especially, today, a Monday, on which it just happened to pour cats and dogs and there was no doubt in my mind that somehow I needed to turn this song on and it’d fit perfectly. What a darn diggity downright punch-to-the-face way of starting out a week! There’s irony in the way I’ve been trying to work my life around plans and then those same plans backfire on me, rendering all previous efforts, to my disappointment, in vain. So yes, I had been for the last month – pencil-scratching, mobile-negotiating, forgoing any previous commitments that I would have these coming days just so this could happen, and now it’s not…so it’s a bloW. I’m being such a drama wreck, I know, but I literally stood in the hallway of my office building, gritting my teeth, anger, bitterness and pure disappointment all bagged up, and spewing out from under my breath. I don’t get so overly charged like this often so apologize for the cyber outburst… you could say it’s been hell of a day – soon to be over , thank goodness.
The only highlight of today, my series of talk sessions continue with a 16-year-old Spanish model – the gorgeous Andrea Aybar – more lovingly known in Vietnamese as “An”. She’s a stunning girl, of course, she’s a model for crying out loud. Google her and you’ll see. But what strikes me is she’s equally and perhaps even more charming in her conversation in English….and above all…in Vietnamese! This girl can speak Vietnamese like no other expat I’ve met. I might even say she’s ridiculously more awesome than I am in the slangs’ categories. An has lived in Vietnam for 8 years – half of her lifetime and really amazed me when she shared her thoughts of how going back to Spain of recent was for her “strange”. She proudly says that despite her appearances, she’s 100% Vietnamese and has even become a matchmaker between her father and a Vietnamese woman – realizing her dream of having a Vietnamese mother, and obtaining Vietnamese nationality…now that’s patriotism for you right there, and you don’t even need a flag to wave it or go stand out on Hoan Kiem Lake, heralding against China (no offense) to prove it.
Got me thinking a bit about the term of “TCK”, you know “third-culture kid” – where your life growing up, led by the circumstances of family moving about, has engrained in you influences of culture other than that of your original root, thus rendering your identity a melange of your experiences here and there. An can be thought of as a TCK who has done away with repatriation and become one of the locals herself. I think of myself as a TCK every so often…, my first move was also when I was 8, accumulated time away from my home country: also nearly half of my lifetime. I’m not certain, but for sure, I’ve always passed points of feeling out of place at either one place or the either, feeling like I own this split identity that doesn’t relate me fully, as much as I would want, to Vietnam…or to anywhere else for that matter. Thinking about it, most of my close friends during college were TCKs, or so I understood them to be. The US you could say, the boiling pot it is known to be, is a pot of TCKs wondering at one point or another in their lifetime, what makes up their identity. Those thoughts for me have slowly blurred after having settled here now for 2 years, but always a fascination to me.
Rainy days and mondays, sad but leaves space for thinking… adieu!
For more of read on TCKs, do check out: DENIZEN MAG – The TCK Magazine