The first few weeks have been a blur; a state of disorientation where you stand somewhere between the real and surreal. The days seem to whizz right past you, but not through you. The long and lean legs of the runners, the beautifully tattooed arms, the couples kissing on the roadside-it all seems like you are in a Western film and are merely an 'extra' in this grand production. Sure I have seen all this and more when I travelled outside of Pakistan. It is not the novelty that shocks me. It is the conflict of the realisation that this is home. The feeling is not of awe but of discomfort. It is ironic because my biggest issue in Pakistan was that I was different and not accepted by family and sundry. And here I stand on a busy walkway surrounded by strangers, yet again feeling out of place. Human mind is a mystery, at least my own is.
I still have to remind myself that the people here are just that; people. There would be good ones and great ones; bad ones and horrible ones. There would be compassionate people and bigots who stereotype and reject. Their skin or hair color, or any other peculiarity does not make them any more of a human than I am. This thought makes me feel like myself again and helps me foresee that I too can belong here.
I have seen a teller at a large store make fun of a woman who couldn't figure out how to work the automatic door. But I have also seen streetcar drivers making the effort to explain the whole transport system to a visibly new immigrant. I have experienced other moms in school trying to avoid a conversation with me, but I have also met mothers who wish to invite us over and help us make new friends.
Eastern or Western; brown, yellow or white; at the beginning and end of it all, we are all human beings with different life experiences. With this thought, I hope it will begin to feel like home soon.