Long Road to Call Home

My first time setting foot in Nebraska for my new duty as an international recruiter, I was struck by a variety of unfamiliar incidents, both positive and negative, since my arrival on September 14, 2015. As much as I tried to focus solely on executing my new position to the best of my ability and changing the face of the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) among Asian students, I also had to take time and be patient to be acclimated and call Nebraska my new “home.”

In addition to spending countless hours and days on assembling furniture and settling in, I desperately sought the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to renew my expired driver’s license from Georgia into one from Nebraska. A female clerk at the DMV insisted I must retake every driver’s test as if I had never driven; whenever I tried to explain she was misinformed, she condescendingly cut me off in front of strangers in line behind me. I came back the next morning, prepared for both written and road tests having reviewed possible questions for seven hours, and proved she indeed had her “facts” mixed; I only took a written test on which I missed one question to earn a temporary copy of a Nebraska license. On Saturday of the same week, I bought a 2016 Honda Accord at Honda of Lincoln, and I promised to take care of her, my first car, like my “girlfriend.” However, on my way back to Kearney with her an hour after purchase, I ran into two consecutive near-severe accidents. A clumsy lady perpendicular to my right shoulder swerved her car into my lane without any warning, forcing me to veer from my own lane away from her and towards rumble strips to keep her from destroying my brand new car. An inch away from a major crash, I honked at her twice, first out of fear and second inexplicable rage, and her careless expression as if nothing had happened riled me up even more. Thirty minutes following, a truck driver turned on his left indicator and immediately invaded my lane as well, and with my right shoulder lined up on his truck tail likely in his blind spot, I abruptly hit the brakes from driving roughly eighty miles per hour; fortunately, I saw no car behind me. I was praying and singing worship songs during these close calls, and His angels protected me.

I ordered so much food, and this benevolent couple sneakily paid for me!

I ordered so much food, and this benevolent couple sneakily paid for me!

Aware of my running history, my colleagues suggested I try a popular lengthy bike trail that connects to campus. I felt peaceful on the course until I ran past an immense wild snake; I saw no warning sign of the wildlife, and upon encounter, I jumped higher than Michael Jordan ever did in his prime. I quickly noticed the benevolent nature of Nebraskans. Many volunteered to help and embrace strangers with a humble smile and open arms. After my first week of work, I went to the popular Gourmet House Japanese Cuisine. Waiting for five minutes to be seated, I conversed with a couple and a man, who suggested to me what to order. As the couple walked out following dinner, the girlfriend asked if I enjoyed my meal. Once the two exited, a waiter tapped me from behind and whispered, “The couple paid for you.” Unaccustomed to people buying me food, I did not know how to respond but sprint to the two. Hearing I had just moved, the couple wanted me to “enjoy [my] experience in Nebraska.” The next evening at Ruby Tuesday, another couple came from behind and handed a five-dollar-discount coupon to me. “Nebraskans are spoiling me!” I jokingly reacted.

In the midst of this extraordinary impression of Nebraskans, I also had an entertaining experience with perhaps the most psychotic individual to ever come across my life. A coworker introduced me to a shy and socially awkward kid who had just graduated from UNK, and after kindly greeting him with a smile, I completely forgot about him. A week later, he arbitrarily looked me up on Facebook, stalked all of my recent posts, wrote a deranged status about me—including my name and position at UNK, where I worked, and my family background—and insulted me via message, crying he does not want to be associated with me and telling me not to add him on the social medium. I had apparently offended him with my God-praising statuses, as he despises Him and Christians. I had to look at some photos of the lunatic and our mutual friends to even vaguely recall him, and how he knew about my family hilariously perplexes me. Nonetheless, one cannot try to understand or rationalize a psychopath, so I simply laughed, especially since the keyboard warrior would never have the guts to even pretend to acknowledge me in person.

I prioritize my job over every other matter but my Father. After over ten crucial meetings the first week of work, I finally received my school email address this Thursday. I straightaway contacted tens of both partner and potential-partner institutions, some of which responded and forwarded my email to superiors of their schools by the next morning. On Friday, while resuming this task, a UNK technician suddenly changed my email address because he had accidentally given me an address owned by another person. I went into panic mode, but thankfully, one call from my boss to the technician resolved the problem. I have also been facing a barrage of issues with Wells Fargo since my registration with the bank, forcing me to visit its nearest location and contact customer service easily over ten times for a minimum of seven hours just to be misled thirty times since my arrival.

The first several weeks in the Midwest certainly felt like a roller-coaster ride. I was welcomed by repeated unprecedented episodes, including being approached by an excited bold girl who described me as “really cute” and wanted my number. Though mostly joyful and content, I still do not feel entirely settled, especially with some of the aforesaid recent unnecessary and discomforting occurrences. Still green to the region, I trust my Father, who brought me here, has plans for me and will lead me to the path of His will.

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