Social Icons


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Filler Post #46 - Some disconnected and distracted thoughts related to an evening with Mini-Kim

Since my homemade sushi dinner with The Madame had been cancelled and because my Schmidt had run away to Dortmund for the weekend, I was at a loss yesterday as to how I should spend my evening.

Eventually, I dediced to just eat some chicken wings and play it by ear. I fired up the projector, sat back and watched the movie Equilibrium (which you should check out, Pickles, if you haven't already). Let me tell you, I freaking love that projector and the surround sound. Best. Purchase. Ever. Way to go, Schmidt.

(Click Below For More)

Anyway, Wonfuzius showed up close to the end and invited me to go out and grab a cup of coffee with him. I accepted (even though it was almost 10pm) and off we went.

Schmidt called from Dortmund to rave about how much he loves its central train station. and then we met up with Wonfuzius' younger sister, who I shall refer to as Mini-Kim (who can be seen btw in the photo scavenger hunt as the small person with big headphones).

I like Mini-Kim and every time we happen to run into each other, I always think, "Why don't we hang out more?" It's because -- as usual -- I am too lazy to make the effort.

The three of us sat at a café and played a few rounds of "Bitter-Hearted Foreigners Club" The short story is that, like her older brother, Mini-Kim studied medicine, is finished and has about two years to find a job or go back to Korea, despite having lived most of her life in Germany. It's the same song, different verse.

Of course the option of giving up her Korean citizenship is also there, but that's kind of a last resort kind of thing, which I fully understand. It's kind of a hard thing to explain and I don't know if I can formulate my thoughts on the matter in a way that makes sense.

She asked me if I would take the option to become a German citizen, if it were offered to me. After some hesitation, I was like, "Yes, but only because it would make some parts of living in Germany A LOT more convenient for me than they are now."
But really, doesn't that just sound like such a lame reason...the convenience? That's like getting married purely for the tax breaks...or a green card. Then you gotta ask yourself, wait a minute....did I just make things better or worse?

I mean I really like living in Germany and dear sweet baby Jesus knows that I've got my thing for Germans (mmm Germans...), but do I want to become German? And more importantly could I ever really be German in anything other than name only?

The concept of naturalization in Germany is not completely foreign and I would have to say that really most people are cool about it. But even the most well-intentioned, "I-don't-mean-it-in-a- bad-way-but-where-are-you-REALLY-from?" can start to make you feel like an eternal outsider, especially if it's frequently one of the first things you're asked when you meet someone new. Maybe it's because I happen to know people who are Germans on paper (or born and raised here), but who aren't white -- sometimes it's like they don't even really see themselves as "German" ... it's an odd phenomenon in a way. I mean, comparatively speaking, I haven't had to deal with it for as long as Wonfuzius and Mini-Kim, but the way I see it, it's kind of like saying:

Well, we'll give you German citizenship, but it's really kind of just a formality, because there are going to be some people that won't accept you as German anyway. Or, you can pass on the German citizenship thing, but we'll restrict (in this case) where you can practice medicine. can get the hell out.

Maybe it's me oversimplifying the situation, maybe I'm only seeing it from one side and maybe I'm talking about some shit that I'm completely unqualified to talk about -- but I think mostly I'm saying that I can totally understand the frustration (and sometimes that's putting it extremely lightly) that this type of situation poses. It's like the government going, "Come here, I got a joke for you. What did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP! I'm Rick James, bitch!"

It's one thing to be a "foreigner" in another country, it's a whole different set of issues when you're a "person of color" (tee hee) in that country and then like multiply those two things by about 20 years ... 20 YEARS of being a minority (not like a 2-week vacation in Compton or a year-long study abroad program in Fiji or even a 5 years as something or other somewhere) ...and see how rosy you'd feel about the place.

All I'm saying, is that I can empathize.

I apologize, this is a very heavy post for a Saturday morning. Instead of sleeping on my mattress in the corner, I fell asleep on the couch last night and my neck is killing me. So, if you have any problems with this post, blame Schmidt. If he were here, I would have slept in my spot, gotten a good night's sleep and been alright this morning.

I need coffee...

No comments: