Edmund’s friends ask him how come he keeps on coming back to the US. They are curious about what he does here. Is he not sick and tired of coming to America every so often? Is he not bored with doing the same things and visiting the same places year after year after year?
In the beginning, meaning after he married me, he didn’t realize how attached my roots were in this place. Although during our courtship (college days) I had shown him documents of my father’s petition, since I didn’t show any interest, he probably thought it was just one of those things. I think it only sunk in after he and my father started looking for a house to stay because Oyen and I were spending a few months in the US. That was when Kuya Lito asked Edmund to help in setting up the electric meter assembly in Northern California. My brother won a contract to supply electric meters to South America. The project was only for a few months that’s why we had to stay until the project had been completed.
And 32 years later, we still regularly come here. There were times in the past when we came every summer and stayed for 3 weeks. Then sometimes we skipped summer so we could visit other countries instead, then we came for Christmas. One time we skipped for two years and my sister complained. In the past 4 years, our visits are more frequent. For this 2020, we will be back again next month for Oyen’s wedding, then there would be a long pause. Then we go back in November.
Even if we visit the US frequently, there are still things to do that delight us. Simple, petty, mundane, although there are also some important matters that we attend to.
1. Edmund likes to play golf here. Well, he likes to play golf anywhere. He played with three Americans the other day under windy and very cold weather, now he’s complaining that his teeth are chattering.
2. We like going to the premium outlets. Shopping for clothes, shoes, personal supplies.
He particularly likes the Las Vegas North Premium Outlet although parking is now $10, unlike before when it was free. Me, I have no preference. Basta shopping okay sa akin.
3. We like to sightsee sometimes. We enjoy the wide expansive roads although we always get lost.
4. We like the cold weather. Summers are good too because we can still be out at 9 pm and it’s still bright outside.
5. We like America’s forgiving attitude. They don’t care if your tits are bumping around the mall. They will not bother to look at you. You can wear the ugliest slippers, tattered clothes, mismatch dress and no one will judge you unlike in the Philippines. “Ang baduy naman nung ale, fashion victim, walang taste”. You can just wear a bra and strut around with your exposed 50 inches waistline and that was the least of their concern. No need to comb your hair or no need to have hair. There are women with half of their head shaven.
6. We see old people kissing each other in the hallway, staring at each other with twinkly eyes. Old people are allowed to publicly display their affections. In the Philippines “naku ano ba yan mga gurang na mahihilig pa”.
I can list a hundred other reasons, all mundane, why we enjoy it here.
This goes without saying that there are no downsides here. Oh, a lot. The gun shootings, the ever terrorist threats, the speeding cars, the growing homelessness, and lately, weed. I smell weed everywhere.
To my simple delight.
The important reason why we regularly visit is bonding with the Tans.
And last but not least, America is where half of my heart is and you know why.