Close to Home

You don’t realize what you miss about home until you leave and then come back. Okay, so I’m not back in SF yet (in fact, I have another many weeks) but this weekend I did have a taste of the homeland.

On Saturday evening, I was invited to meet Marynicole Nazarro as she hosted a teacher potluck at her apartment. This is her second year at Shantou University and she teaches at the Journalism school so I hadn’t met her. I learned that she specializes in sports journalism and recently graduated from UC Berkeley. Her get-together was supposed to include a South Park marathon but everyone took the opportunity just to chat with one another.

As I bit into a cracker with cheese, I immediately realized that this party was the closest thing to California I had come into contact with for the last six weeks. The Ella Fitzgerald songs that I could hum along to, the impressive book collection, the variety of non-Chinese food, the wandering conversations, the evening breeze. I even brought fresh fruit (melon and grapes) to the potluck as if they were freshly picked from the fruit-bowl of the world that I know too well. I soaked up the sensation as much as I could because California is not often spotted in this neck of the woods.

As an added bonus, this weekend brought the first fog (or some variation of fog, smog, etc.) to Shantou. I’ve felt the kind Marin County temperatures around here but with the slight added touch of humidity that being closer to the equator always brings.