The Mooncake Meeting

I learnt my love of food in Malaysia,
Which brought together
What was Indian, Malay and Chinese.
I saw grace
In accepting people the way they are.
Not everyone understood me,
And that was okay.

Thailand helped me understand
How palpable a culture can be.
I learned stage fright at my first school play,
And watched my new sister capture half
Of my parent's attention.
I fell for Thai music.
Not everyone understood where I was from,
And that was okay.

I spent my 10th birthday in Saudi Arabia.
Desert life wasn't what my mom expected.
I waited to sight camels on long car rides
And hoarded chocolate cake bars (I haven't found them anywhere else)
Not everyone understood where I was from,
And that had to be okay.

In little Brunei when I was 14,
I'd brave the one hour trip to school
And found that friends made me whole,
When I thought I was empty from past goodbyes.
I hoped those I had invested in
Would keep in touch,
Not everyone understood where I was from,
I didn’t know if that was okay.

I started high school on a Monday.
I was scared
I believed I had forgotten how to make new friends.
I met someone with a mooncake,
She as out of place as me.
She understood where I was from,
And everything was okay.

I learnt I wasn't the only one
And revelled in the power of my many homes.
I sit in my room for hours and listen to that Thai singer.
I muse about the camels from my Arab home,
I say thank you,
To everyone who didn’t understand me,
For I grew to understand you,
And that I am okay.

First published on 28 June 2016