Indeed, I wrote a lot about how perfect my “Leaving” is, as it comes almost to the day when i arrived 8 years ago. I spoke a lot about how everything seems pre-ordained.
Well, now I am beginning to experience what that actually means. These days in Beijing will be a further searing of my soul to the point where i will wonder what exactly it is that i believe. Who exactly I am.
My patna Beanmilk told me today that I have to leave, before i become too Chinese. She said this after that post “The Good News Is” … what she means is that my original self is American, and the longer I stay here, the more Chinese I become. This Chinese sense of self is, in her words “originally not yours” so I should and have to leave and go back to the US in order to recover that which I am. Or else I will be wrestling with this “foreign” entity in me till it pops out my chest in a bloody mass … she says me wrestling with myself in that post is proof that i need a rest from all this.
Last night a friend asked me rhetorically: “Who are you?” because I spoke German to one kid, American to another, Chinese to another and so on …
I welcome all of this. When i was young, Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” had a great impact. I am German and Turkish because the blood of those people runs through me. I can’t help any Turkish-ness or German-ness which I display.
America is a state of mind, a set of principles, a way of living that is as much a part of me as any blood relationship I have. But it is because I lived as an American. Surrounded by America, feeding on the tit of America, raised by a True American, I can only be a chip off that block.
Now, after 8 years in China, a whole new set of mind states, principles and ways of living are filtering through my self.
After suckling at the Chinese tit for so long, can I walk away and wipe my mouth with no effects whatsoever?
I think not.
And why would I: In my song of myself I too contain multitudes, I contradict myself and in the end can be nothing but me myself and I.
So these next few weeks will be my final roast above the spit of China.
Grease me up, yo!
8 thoughts on “One Last Roast”
born in the 1970s
the distance between self and ego.
we all have this doubt about who we are, because of the globalisation. but believe or not, the origin cant be changed and u gonna figure out who you are one day, out of the sudden.
You are an American, and you should be thankful to this background, providing you freedom of choices- choose to adapt, believe whatever that form you up
my senior thesis in college was about the effects of globalization on identity … my conclusion was basically that the speed with which one “changes” or takes on another identity has been magnified exponentially. at the same time, there is a core which remains … the reaction between the core and the new layers can create wars. or it can create vast communities …
Thesis requires “conclusions”; but this does not apply in reality. I guess you should agree that we hardly come to any clear conclusion when come to “personality”. People have different “reaction” and “response” to various circumstances and scenarios, where emotion and humanbeing took place. At the end of the day, you will find yourself be here and there, no clear line to be drawn among cultures and nations.
Having said that, being an American is an advantage, where the culture grooms you to be independent to choose what you want/ what you dont want.
so if you’re not a SUPERIOR american you wouldnt know who you are? if you are not an american you cant free yourself to choose what you want/ what you dont want?
what a bs.
I dont want to rude.
Sascha should be an american just because he has the core of being an american. And even the origin was also his own choice. ( it’s not because of the american culture, it’s because he’s a man wants to be american, that’s it.)
You can be proud of being an american, but to be an american is not the only choice to free yourself to choose what you gonna be.
Once you know you have the soul, you wont lose it any more. that’s who you are. You are your soul.
[ So go looking for your soul.]zi..
yes it is hard to come to any conclusions. But at this point in my life, I am pretty clear on who I am, so the acceptance of any part of a “Chinese layer” is something I can not only be aware of, but perhaps even control. But i think you have to be passive first, let yourself shatter a bit, then go back and sift through things later …
I didnt have the chance to “choose the Turk” and my rejection of the German in favor of the American was conscious and natural.
As “conscious” as any of this can really be. And this is a particular path for me.
To Anony. who believes the American culture allows choice: What are you doing right now?
I wrote my university dissertation on a raspy little English fellow, Mister Stankballs. And so, during this fateful hour, I’d like to quote Sir Roderick Stewart.
“We got just one shot of life, lets take it while were still not afraid.
Because life is so brief and time is a thief when youre undecided.”
Enjoy your time in Beijing, Young Turk, and let your young heart be free tonight.