Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Do you feel american already?

Yesterday a friend asked me if I felt American already.

The question caught me by surprise, and the only answer I could think of was "I still don't like peanut butter". I know there are Americans who do not like peanut butter, but it is an American staple. An American who doesn't like peanut butter is like a Brazilian who doesn't like feijoada - he is just odd. But the true answer to my friend's question is "no".

I don't feel American. As a matter of fact, I feel more Brazilian everyday. And more lonely. I miss everything about home. Places, food, friends, culture ... I miss the simple safe knowledge that I know what is going on around me, that that is my area.

I know that I have changed. That if I go back home everyone will think I am different... or weird. There is no way you can be the same after spending some time in a different place and in a different culture. That is why I can't help feeling like I lived in another world, another life, and that I died for that life.

Today I know how much my family loved me and cared for me. Today I know how important my friends were. But as of today, I don't have any of them anymore. I can't be with them, or hug them or just give them a call to talk about trivialities. I can only miss them and hope everything goes well. That is why it feels like I am dead.

I feel like Bras Cubas, a book carachter that wrote his bio after he died. The writer Machado de Assis completely absorbs the point of view his main charachters, never letting you know whether it is reality or interpretation. In the case of Bras Cubas, he is dead, but, he still has his own view of reality, he judges people, draws conclusions and gathers arguments to justify his thinking. Like anyone of us, he only sees what he wants to see and only tells us what he wants to tell.

Do I feel American already? I don't know. And I don't know if I ever will.

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