Notes from an Immigrant
Part 1

By Beatriz Mascarenhas de A. Costa


One time I went to Disneyland and they asked me where I live. I blanked.

I ask myself what does “home” mean? If home is where I am from
or home is where I am me
or if home it’s even a place.
A feeling.

Home, is the feeling I got when snow touched my skin for the first time and I cried.

Home, is also the feeling that I have when I have água de coco by the beach.

Walking downtown and knowing where I am it’s reinvigorating

“Are you going back home?” Is a complicated question.
I thought I was home, but again, I never am.

Google says that “Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation. A person may have multiple citizenships.”
Can I belong nowhere?

I can relate to everybody
No one understands me.

I cannot speak for what it is that makes me Canadian, because I am not. Regardless of any documents. I will never be. Then again, I am.

Am I Canadian?

The land of the beaver, I have never seen a beaver. Does that make me “less Canadian”? Has anyone seen a beaver?

I am not Canadian. I don’t know the culture. I am the culture

I love poutine. Does that make me “more Canadian”? Everybody loves poutine.

Oh Canada, will I ever feel home?


Notes from an Immigrant
Part 2

To be me is to always be home.
but always far from home.

To be an immigrant at the age of 15 is a complicated thing.
I know everybody!
I have no friends.

To be me is to have childhood friends,
once a year.
What makes someone your friend?

To be an immigrant is to work twice as hard
and still get asked “how it’s your vacation?”
I live here.

People tell me I don’t sound like an immigrant.
Was that supposed to be a compliment?

You don’t understand the pain of mispronouncing a word.
Until you do.

I am not enough this of culture, not enough of that culture.

To be me it’s to be expected to be 110% fluent
in both languages.
Make no mistakes.

To be an immigrant is to be spoiled and ungrateful at the same time.
Because I love here, but I love there just as much.

To be an immigrant is to know the meaning of saudades
and not be able to fully explain it
even if you know, what it means.