Friday, April 30, 2010

That exotic thing called..

Ever since I moved to lower Manhattan time and time again I was asked by friends if I had Yellow Fever or an Asian Fetish. I usually immediately say no because I have dated all types of women my whole life. Black, Brown, Beige, Yellow and name it but what I can say is that I have a love affair with Asian people and culture in general. Maybe its because I grew up an only child in the South Bronx, NY with little to no father around and I did not feel so close to my Hispanic roots. I didn't spend much time with Spanish kids in fact I cant speak much Spanish. I dated Spanish women and when I would meet their families I didn't feel welcome in fact I felt the opposite I felt like an outsider.
They would give me shit for not speaking Spanish and asked if I was ashamed of being Puerto Rican. I wasn't ashamed I was just annoyed at these people for not accepting me for who I was. They were so judgemental and ignorant to anything new of foreign. So much for sticking with your own kind it was time to get out of the hood. In the Bronx I didn't see many Asian people and they were so foreign to me. I hung out with mostly Black kids and the only Asians were in the take out food spots and they didn't want to be my friend. We probably gave them a hard time if anything because they were behind a Plexiglas window serving bad Fried Chicken and Pork Fried Rice.

Around this time I was spending more time in Manhattan and I met an "Asian girl" Sue Kwon and we hit it off. She was of Korean decent but she was not like those other girls that only hang out their own kind. She was kind of the rebel of her family and to her own people. She hung out with all types and that mindset interested me . I felt relaxed and I could live with that. I learned about her families culture and i was amazed that it was all so new and fresh. I felt as if my friends I grew up with had no clue that a world existed outside the Bronx. Sue and I eventually had a baby boy and he is Kai. He is a Korican(Korean-Puerto Rican). A beautiful little boy(Bigger than me)who loves Bulgogi, Rice and Beans. He is a dream of what I wish I had when I grew up. He has roots in two cultures legitimately. He is the external of how I feel internal.
I started going to Japan about ten years ago with some NY artist friends and that's when I met my dear friend Kunici Nomura. He opened my Japanese world up and pulled me in it. He made me feel so comfortable that Japan became my second home. I was going to Japan more than I was going to Florida or L.A.. We met at an art show we stayed in touch and began working together on many projects. Kun had a worldly sense about him that I was facinated by. Taking a liking to me and opening me up to a lot of new experiences and the kindest of people that it made me feel part of something that I had never experienced in my life. I wanted to be part of the culture and get lost in it. I know I was a Puerto Rican kid from the Bronx but I felt welcome and it was like I had a second home in Japan. I would walk the streets and I could actually hear my thoughts. I couldn't do that in NY.
Where I'm going with this I don't know. All I know is that I don't take precedence with any type of ethnicity or color I just like nice people. I like people that are open to new ideas and adventures. It just happens that some of the nicest most interesting and creative people around me happen to be Asian.


Anonymous said...


Hell Yup! said...

WORD AAPP SHADi. Free your mind and the rest...

Shanis Navas said...

Believe me, speaking Spanish and knowing how to make rice and beans doesn't do much for helping you fit in any more than not knowing.
I'm the black sheep of the family, the one who hangs out with all different kinds of people. I studied abroad in Japan last semester, best experience of my life. Feels nice to know that even as a black sheep there are still others like you.