Bloody Foreigner


I enjoy reading English poetry
though I know the mechanics of the language barely.
I enjoy too reciting something from someone like T.S. Eliot,
but, thanks to my heavy Ethiopian accent,
I hardly pronounce the words right,

and I resist to change that
because that’s partially
what makes me Ethiopian,
neither English nor American.
The problem is let’s say I learn
to pronounce the words correctly,
someone will still say,
“hey, where are you from originally?
you speak English fluently,” 
reminding me I will always be
the guy from another valley,
I will always be the outsider;
even if I do my best to fit in,
I will always remain
that bloody foreigner.

The fact is I am indeed a bloody foreigner;
however, not only to English,
but also to my own flesh.
Regardless, I am still blood and skeleton;
just like you, just like everyone.

Silly, isn’t it,
when we make a big deal, when we fight
because we talk and look different?!
Well, I have no problem embracing the fact
I am a bloody foreigner,
an outsider.

As you can see my English is horrible,
but I have this passion to scribble,
to express my foreign feelings,
using these foreign words.

Anyway, at the end of the day
am just a human being,
the rest might as well be nothing.

We are all foreigners,
outsiders, temporary tenants,
temporary residents, temporary guests;
we better give peace a chance!

Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language. — H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur. — Doug Larson 

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23 thoughts on “Bloody Foreigner

  1. Wonderful post, Kweschn. No disrespect intended, but I can fully relate to the experience of feeling eternally mis-fit to the world we live in. I was born & raised in America, but my soul knows this is not my home. Others often remind me how I’m different, foreign. This is a blessing. We are merely strangers in this strange place, passing through, and if we’re able to touch the foreign-ness in others, we become less strangers and more ONE. Blessings to you.

    • Thank you Destrudowoman! :) We all one way or another feel mis-fits in all sorts of ways, and I totally understand what you have said. Let alone here in America, I feel foreign when I go back to see my parents in the country where I was born, Ethiopia. I am no longer the same person as the one who grew up there before I left. Even while growing up, I was considered foreigner in the region I was raised because of my parent’s ethnic background which obviously was different from the ethnic majority in the area. I have always felt a mis-fit in many different scenarios. It’s during those times that I realize all these categorizations we have created are totally useless.

  2. As we can see, your English is NOT horrible – it simply is awesome.
    but I see that you are foreign :) because you know another language.

    Enjoyed this post v v much. And enjoyed all the quotes too.
    This one I like the most :
    “Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language”. —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    This reminds me of another blog I am following.
    And through her I gathered that
    someone who knows three languages is trilingual.
    someone who knows two languages is bilingual and
    someone who knows only one language is American :D
    How cute is that? :D
    [My respect to all the American nationals. But I just liked this joke] :D

    Here is the link if you are interested in reading:
    http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2012/01/10/language-and-diplomacy-aka-the-importance-of-knowing-urdu-on-the-high-seas/

    • Thank you Mon Amie!!! :D That’s a funny stereotypical joke. But I can tell you for sure that it’s hard to put all Americans in one box. I once met an elderly American through an interesting coincidence. Guess how? He spoke to me in a fluent Amharic! :) I was like :shock: … I mean I had to. :lol:
      First of all he knew I was Ethiopian before even asking me. Second his Amharic blew me away. I later on found out that he had lived in Ethiopia for close to 3 decades. :D Funny how everyone loves to pick on Americans, but the moment they pick on us, we go booooo! :lol: … what happened to fairness, eh! :P Thanks for the link! :) My goal is to be multilingual. ;)

  3. We are all foreigners, so true. I was asked where I was from when I moved to another state! The English language is crazy…the craziest language ever! I cannot imagine trying to learn it as a 3rd, 4th, 5th language! I love H. Jackson Brown’s quote above. A perfect quote. We in the US educate our children in our native language only. Recently, an effort has been made to teach young children a second language, but it’s not a requirement. How sad.
    Your quote is wonderful….”Regardless, I am still blood and skeleton just like you, just like everyone.” I am reminded of a quote by Peck?~
    “Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” We are one as humankind. Why can’t we celebrate those wonderful, delightful characteristics that make us different, but also cherish those qualities that bind us together, because they remind us how much alike we are? Love your writing, Elyas….

      • Thank you Judy for the lovely comment!! :) You made me remember my English classes in 3rd and 4th grade! :lol:

        THAT IS A GIRL.

        THAT IS A BOY.

        THIS IS JUDY.

        THAT IS AMIRA.

        I AM ELYAS.

        I AM NOT AMIRA.

        AMIRA IS THAT GIRL.

        etc :lol:

        … I think learning more than one language is good for kids, both as a mental exercise and for future benefits; especially if they start learning at a very young age, they can easily pick up two three languages easily. :)

    • Thank you Redplace! :) English is fun to learn too. :) I remember how I struggled to understand the concept of Tenses, I think I figured it out in 6th grade. :lol: I still struggle with past perfect tenses, though, i.e., applying them in sentences, :D ….

    • Thank you Leah! :) When I was in Ethiopia I thought that the American accent sounded more fun and quite interesting compared to the British accent; both of which were hardly accessible to me; my two main accesses were the VOA and the BBC radio programs. I dont think I understood back then whatever they were saying in the radio, however. I just loved listening to them. :lol: But now I kinda miss listening to the British accent; perhaps I have had enough of American accent. :D So I tune in to BBC often for that purpose. :) And my heavy English accent is influenced by neither of them; I dont know, may be I have taken a little bit from this and a little bit from that. :D

  4. I can identify with this one. I think being bilingual can be fun. You can enjoy saying something and it is your secret. I have difficulty writing soemtimes because in Spanish everything is backwards … AND …. I grew up in New York with English as my first language. What the h—?
    Personally, most people hear me speak and think J.Lo is talking to them. Not a bad comparison … I’ll take it.
    Toodles,
    Isadora

    • Thank you Isadora! :) I think multilingual IS fun. :) Speaking many languages is like living in parallel universes. Each language is a secret world by itself. It has its own code, its own magic. You feel, you touch, you smell, you taste, you see, you hear, and your perceive the world or an object 10 different times if you speak 10 languages. It’s amazing to me, so that is why I dream of learning as many languages as possible before I die. :)

    • Thank you Acherwa! :) That’s such a perfect song for this topic! :D “I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear / I like my toast done on one side / And you can hear it in my accent when I talk / I’m an Englishman in New York.” … If I re-write those lines, I see myself fitting in there perfectly. ;) …. “I drink coffee I take tea too my dear / I die for Injera and Doro Wot / And you can hear it in my accent when I talk / I’m an Ethiopian dude in New York.” :D

  5. I loved this …it gives a point of view poetically and a meaning we should all keep in our hearts …your written English is great , thank you for sharing x

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