Location: on the bus going home
I miss my car.
I was walking around early this morning and started to think about my childhood back when I used to live near the city. My old neighborhood, Kalihi, wasn’t exactly the richest place around.
Far from the “Hawaii” that people think about where the palm trees sway in the cool, sunny tradewinds. Kalihi was inland, dominated by the small shops and community full of old asian men and women, pacific islanders, and the… I guess the “crazy uncle” kind of population. You know, the kind that yells at you for no reason across the street trying to sell you counterfeit bags.
It’s a place full of people all trying to get through the day. Running errands, taking their lunch and talking gossip with their neighbors next door.
This is the kind of Hawaii that I will remember as my childhood. It wasn’t glamorous. But it was vivid, it was home.
As I was walking around the neighborhood, people wouldn’t mind who I was when I was passing by. I’m a filipino boy walking around filipino reataurants, aunties, and uncles. I have belonging there and it’s comforting in that way because it’s the feeling of home.
Moving away, I’ll always get that feeling of being ostracized to a certain degree. Mostly cause of my color.
I remember there was a point where I hated being who I was because I had gotten stares and everything, haha. I really wanted to use only papaya soap so I could fit in with the rest of the kids during my time at University.
But I have respect for myself and who I represent now. It’s taken a while for all of that to happen, but now, especially because I’m going to Uganda I hope to share a bit of that side of the story.