American culture consists of all kind of people from all around the world. For these immigrants like me, home is hard to define. So what is home? Is it the houses we own? Is it the place we or even our ancestors came from? Or is it the place that provides us shelter? For many Americans, it remains unanswered. As many immigrants in America may have wandered, I ask the same thing: "Where is my home? Is it in China, where I learned read and write, and where all my relatives are? Is it in San Jose, where I live? After a long time's thinking; I decided to define home as the place where my dearest ones live, the place that I can go to whenever I want to, and the place I feel familiar and comfortable to live in.
I was 10 years old, living in China with my parents. We lived in an apartment inside a university, where my father taught arts. Every day I walked home from school; I could smell the sweet scent of cooking, and I knew my parents were there waiting for me to have dinner together. When I was 13 years old, we moved to a bigger apartment. Soon, my parents were gone to America. Every day I walked home from school, I knew there were empty rooms waiting for me. Each time I unlocked the door, I imagined my parents were inside, waiting for me to have dinner together. When I was at home watching TV, lying on bed or doing homework, I didn't feel like home. People always use homesick to describe how they missed their home. But most of the time they think about home, they are thinking about the people, the family. Living at home alone, looking at the photographs on the wall and the table that we used to eat on; makes me miss my family even more. I used to visit my friends who had huge houses with plenty of rooms, and I always thought that it would be nice to live there. But then I realized that does not make it a home, not without my family.
In Chang-rae Lee's "Coming Home Again", he described how he left home for a private high school and came back after ten years, when his mother got cancer.