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 Culture & Traditions

An Extraordinary Situation By Juan S. de la Serna

Some say that there’s nothing worse in life than being ordinary, that it’s horrible to be just another among the crowd. But what can a single kid in a new school, a new town, a new country, be? Anything but ordinary. Just standing there, in the middle of a schoolyard, without knowing how to speak the same language as the rest is enough to separate him, and to truly make him a foreigner. He can see the rest play about, and is in denial of the very instinct telling him to run with these children, to try and get to know them, to understand what society it is he will be living in for the next couple of years. While this is not the first time he has felt like this, it certainly takes much longer than usual for the feeling to go away, it remains there for quite a few months even. Judging the circumstance from a first impression, it seems to him, that the United States is a very hostile and selective country when it comes to accepting others.

Being so quiet in those months while trying to adapt also makes him analyze everything around him. Most people there have a different sense of humor, they are much more preoccupied of keeping their garden spotless clean, and are accustomed to eating fast food, not having a home cooked dinner with the rest of the family, while talking about one’s feelings, as he was used to in Mexico. He can even see the difference of how mothers treat their children in one place and the other. Maybe it’s still because of the first impression he received, but everything in the States just seems plastic and pre-made, from people to even houses. Finally after those moments of solitude he finds another with the same problems as his, and it is then that a part of the barrier, which stood all around him, starts to slowly fade away. While his English is not quite good yet, he can now understand what the rest of the children are saying, and finds in most of them a new friend. At school he is no longer a foreigner, yet he is still a strange one there, and to the rest of the city.

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