I’ve spent the last seven years of my life in cross-cultural relationships. It wasn’t a conscious choice; I didn’t stand up and declare that I would never be with a Chinese man again (although the last time I tried to be with a Chinese man was a spectacular disaster). I just somehow gravitated towards men of other cultures, and sometimes I think I’m the better for it. I mean, nobody could come out of a relationship regretting that they learned a new language, at the very least.
So when I attended the Lebanese Independence Day celebrations (in Kuala Lumpur, obviously) two nights ago, it was both surreal and familiar all at once. It’s one thing to be there as the other half of someone whose motherland is being celebrated, but also another when you see people of your own nationality and wonder what the hell they’re doing there. Fortunately there were a fair number of people (mostly Lebanese) whom I’ve known for a while and genuinely like, so it wasn’t an entirely uncomfortable experience for me.
The most bizarre, yet endearing, moment was probably when, at the very end, Dani, his Lebanese friends and their wives gathered for a photo, and one of the beckoned me over: “Come Sandra, you too; you’re half-Lebanese now.”