The moment when a place becomes home…

Home being a relative term, considering if it is where the heart is, I can’t say I’m sure I still have one, I know what makes me feel I’ve taken root, a little. It’s not appliances, a first shag, or a first meal. It’s the first time I go away and while driving picture myself arriving at something which in my mind is called “home”. Not a motel. This I got quite soon after I took possession of my apartment. Then there’s the first time you wake up and don’t wonder where you are. This mostly hasn’t happened to me for about two weeks. Then there’s the moment where you begin to include a living thing in your life. Since I’m still not sure younger men are living things, I’d have to name my plants as this – my nasturtiums in particular, which I’ve planted in a heart shaped bowel. Aaaaawww. Right? And then there’s the real moment. The moment when you first sit around a table with people and think “Cool. You guys are a bit fucking weird, too! I can deal with you people.”

That happened to me today, in Little Korea. Every town in the USA seems to have a “Little [insert name of country invaded by the USA at some point]”.

The food is eat all you want for $16.99. A lot in South Africa, normal in restaurants here unless we're taking a burger joint. Dessert is ice cream (great ice cream) and you can have as much as you like. I had two cones... I took this picture at checkout, where separate bills were no problem at all.

I drove there with a new friend listening to Tom Waits on my iPod (he got to play DJ) with two women in the back. We (including the two women from Chapman who were with us, both of whom were Asian and should have known better) forgot it was Full Moon festival, a fairly important event in Little Korea so most of Little Korea was closed for lunch. But we found something by asking the guys in the window frame shop, which was open. And the food we got was the best food I have eaten since I arrived in America. Thinly sliced raw meat is cooked on a broad-slatted gas grill – spiced pork, beef brisket, fatty beef, and whatever else… sometimes squid but in this case also some pork belly and the usual strangely tasteless American chicken.

One of the guys at the table kept going on about some girlfriend he’d had, and how he had to date an Asian girl for the food, and his random bangter was so clearly tasteless that it was okay. We girls rolled our eyes and feigned shock. The other two guys went haw haw and told him to shut up. This must be the first time I’ve really had that moment here, where people were comfortable enough with racial issues to take the piss as friends. A keen sense of irony is not what’s charming about the average Californian, although the absense of routine sarcasm is a wonderful by-product of what they lack.

Anyhow, the food, the food… Wow. Perhaps that’s why countries wage war – because they want to steal the food. God knows I would hate to live in the UK if it weren’t for curry. Perhaps the whole “the USA needs oil” thing is just a cover up. After all, if the USA was really short of oil, surely they wouldn’t fucking deep fry absolutely everything?

I made it home in time to sit around for two hours trying to work, feeling happy, feeling that for a moment or two, I’d found my place, for the first time really.

5 Responses to “The moment when a place becomes home…”

  1. Uberfiend Says:

    Nasturtiums stuck in a heart shaped bowel?
    That sounds a bit painful…a sort of proctological Valentine’s
    Glad you’re finding your feet (a bit)

  2. Tweets that mention The moment when a place becomes home… « Jean Barker's Sign Language -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jean Barker, Jean Barker. Jean Barker said: The moment when a place becomes home…: […]

  3. jeanbarker Says:

    It’s pretty. The flowers. I’ll tweet a picture someday. Ha ha but ja, ta for the encouragement.

  4. Sam Wilson Says:

    That is the most hopeless Hope sign I’ve seen in my entire life.

  5. jeanbarker Says:

    Not as hopeless as my gardening skills. The herbs died before I managed to move them into pots.

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