I love Chinatown. Although I can’t speak Cantonese and I’ve never lived in Chinatown, I’m very fond of the area because I spent every Sunday for 19 years of my life going to church on Centre St. Service was at 3pm because the pastor preached in the morning in New Jersey, so I basically had my afternoons free since Bible study was in the morning. Aside from playing Risk, I would walk around Chinatown and window shop when no one around my age came to church. I spent most of my time gawking and lusting after comicbooks and Gundam models. In retrospect, although I didn’t speak the language, I still felt comfortable walking around as if I belonged, although I really didn’t. I suppose being around mass quantities of Chinese people didn’t bother me even if I couldn’t communicate with them.

Driving to Chinatown these days is so rare and such a treat. When I have kids, I hope I’ll be able to faithfully introduce them to this side of their heritage without them feeling so alien or foreign towards the people and environment.

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