Home Sweet Home
If you live in another country and have an accent, “Where do you come from?” is a frequent question asked. I get it almost always in taxi rides. When I say the US, the next question is,
“Where are you really from?”
“No, your parents, grandparents, originally.”
I used to take offense at this thinking they were somehow signaling I didn’t belong there. But I see it differently now. The taxi driver, who usually has an accent himself is really asking – Are we somehow more alike than at first appears? Do we come from the same tribe? Are we on the same side? Do we have a connection?
A better question might be: What do you call home? Is it where you grew up? Where you went to school? Is it where you are living now? Raising your family? Where your keys are hanging on the hook? Where you were sheltering in lockdown? Or is more like the delicious German word Heimat - the smell of a tree after it rains? A dish your grandmother made with a special spice?
I like to think of home not as a place, but a feeling where people will laugh at my jokes - even the bad ones, listen to that story – again, accept me wearing sweatpants and no makeup, support me when I am down, laugh with me to cheer me up and love me without having to prove myself. Home sweet home.