midwestern hapa living
okay, so there are some good and bad things about being hapa and living in the midwest. when i moved from CA to the midwest at the end of jr high i thought i had moved to another planet. another, are-you-joking and is-this-something-from-a-scary-old-kinda-racist-movie-planet. the bad things outweighed the good things in my mind back then. in fact, i'm not sure i thought there were any good things about it back then. on my first day of school after the move, i was asked if i was the new chinese girl, hawaiian girl, and mexican girl. take your pick. after having lived in tokyo and california, i'd never been in a place that was predominately caucasian, where i felt so obviously different. it was shocking. of course since then, a lot has changed, including myself. and after moving all over the place, my own little family has found its way back to the midwest. have i gone insane? no, i actually like a lot of things about the midwest now. and i'm thankful there is more color here than i remember there being before, and even more hapas. we really can exsist outside of the east and west coast! but just for fun and the sake of making lists: a few pros and cons about this particular lot of race and geographic living...
pros of midwestern hapa living:
it's cool to be in a place that is becoming increasingly more diverse and to be a part of it.
it's really fun to discover other hapas living here. it still feels like a good suprise to find them.
good people might ask awkward questions about where you are from but it can be a learning experience for you and them.
it is good to be in a place that can encourage personal growth out of reverse racisim and into more grace and patience for others and yourself.
cons of midwestern hapa living:
there are places here that may always make you feel like you are in a suzy wong movie.
authentic ethnic things are harder to come by and you might have to drive forever to get to a good [insert ethnicity] grocery store.
people might ask awkward questions about where you are from and not get it. really not get it.
there might still be weirdos who stare at you as if you are a zoo animal and speak to you as if they are zoo animals themselves.