I have been away from Potato Land for too long. When the immigration officer asked whether i was a citizen or a resident, i nearly replied resident, but caught myself in time. That was the first strange sign of things to come. Then my parents could not recognize me. And i thought i was the one who would have the problem. I walked right past my dad in the airport and he did not once blink!
Then my mother had trouble understanding my accent. So much so, she switched to Mandarin to converse with me. We never talk in Mandarin because i was too slow for her. Now it is faster?
Thrice i could not understand my fellow Potato Landers because of their accents. I was appalled with myself. They less so with me, because they think i am a foreigner. A foreigner in my own country. I am in disbelief. And yes, for the first time, i hear my accent contrast very starkly against theirs, and i am trying not to flinch. I used to think my accent stand out more back in the Land of Fish and Chips; i don’ t think so anymore…at least not as bad as now when i am in Potato Land. I am not sure how things are going to be like when i head to the hospital tomorrow. I hope the local students do not think i am trying to put on a show. I am not. Going to try to keep my damn mouth shut when possible.
On another note, my mum gave me over three hundred dollars worth of Borders vouchers. I blew them all on a handsome lot of books, most notably on Jonathan Nasaw’s crime thriller, Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s historic fiction and Jeanette Winterson’s mind-blowing novels. Since i spent so much, i earned myself another eighty bucks worth of discount. More book shopping!