Diasporas, pt. 5

圭亞那、蘇利南、法屬圭亞那

“Hey, I got Chinese takeout! Have some!”
–“Thanks! Where’s it from?”
“Just around the corner from here.”

The next day, I walk around the bend. The restaurant’s name? Fortune House, the same name (in English, but not in Chinese) as my dad’s former restaurant. It may have only been day one of my trip, but it made me immediately homesick.

It’s been absolutely mind-boggling to see the constant presence of Chinese people in the three Guianas. We’re members of the same diaspora, but we just ended up on opposite sides of the globe. Our daily language, the ones we live in, are completely different, mutually unintelligible, and yet the immediate knowing glances when I walk into the door of a Chinese business immediately leads to a conversation in the one thing we share.
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Diasporas, pt. 4

Kourou and Cayenne, French Guiana

Another day, another aquatic border crossing. Just taking one of those small rickety pirogues to the other side, that’s all — that’s a little step down from the ferry between Guyana and Suriname. Wait, why is everybody speaking French now? Why is my phone welcoming me to… Martinique? And now my phone’s stuck in the wrong time zone, one hour behind the local time.

This town looks a little run down. The road out to Kourou seems quite empty, and huh… hello corrugated steel shacks. Haven’t really seen them that much this trip until now.

Oh look, there’s a freakin’ space rocket.
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