My first glimpse of America: I’m glued to the plane’s window looking at the emerald green lawns, the houses and the glittering pools. One in every backyard! My god, this must be where the rich people live. After about 30 minutes of the endless Los Angeles suburban sprawl, my brain starts searing. I ponder in awe: If all those people are millionaires, where do the poor people live? And this is just the beginning.
If I would tell you I started my life from zero it would be an understatement. I have left behind, everything I had and known; family, friends, my job, home, my culture, my language. And here I was all alone in a strange land, without speaking a word of English.
I did my shopping by pictures. Here is a can of beans, b-e-a-n-s, beans, and another word down. Imagine my shock getting on the pet food isle for the first time. Here is a can of cat. CAT??? It takes me a minute or two to realize …they have can food for the pets!
Welcome to the land of plenty!
You my think it must have been the hardest, most terrible, awful, time of my life. Hard yes, but also the happiest time of my life. It was the time of infinite possibilities, the time of unbounded hope. I would wake up in the morning with a smile on my face, ready to take on the world, and I would go to bed exhausted and some times hungry, but with the same smile on my face. This was the time of miracles and wonder. I was living my dream.
You see, I believe I was born American. I had life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness flowing in my veins from the first day. It just happened that I was born at the wrong time in the wrong place.