I’ve got another Third Culture Kidfor you all to hear from. Remember Paul from last week? Well, Evan is Paul’s big brother. As I mentioned in my last post, Paul and his brother Evan were in the same dorm as my sister Melody and me. I’ve included a picture of all the kids that were in the dorm with us. I am the girl in the bicycle shirt waving in the front row. Paul (Evan’s brother) is in the center with the striped shirt and mischievous look. Evan, in the red shirt, is directly behind Paul. Melody, my sister, is to Evan and Paul’s right in the red shirt and letters. Evan’s the same age as Melody, and Paul is the same age as me, so we got along pretty well!
I think you’ll like reading Evan’s answers. If you have read some of the other interviews I have posted, you’ll notice some similarities in his experience. Enjoy!
What is the last good book you read?
I’ve always got about 5 reads going on at once, but the last good book I actually finished is probably “Moonwalking with Einstein”, which is about the history of memory techniques and how people actual train to be able to do incredible (albeit pointless) things like memorize the order of a deck of cards in 21 seconds.
What is your favorite family/kids movie?
Wow, this is definitely a toss up. I feel like I can always be safe going with “The Emperor’s New Groove”.
What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been going back through a lot of David Crowder Band material, especially A Collision, Church Music, and Give Us Rest, which have some great individual songs but are just incredible to listen through as complete albums. On Pandora, a friend of mine curates an amazing Explosions in the Sky station. On Spotify, whatever my brother throws together in his playlists.
If someone gave you a free plane ticket right now to visit any country in the world for a week, where would you go?
Probably Greece. I’ve never been anywhere in Europe before.
Give me your TCK life map: Where were you at what ages, for how long?
I was born in Thailand and lived there until age 11, with about 2 of those years being back in the US. I don’t remember a whole lot from living in Central Thailand, where my parents were before I started school. Most of my memories are from school in north Thailand, and being back in Bangkok for school breaks. From ages 11-25, I’ve been living in the southeastern US.
What reaction did people have when they found out you have lived in a different country/ in different countries?
Mostly stuff like “That’s really cool/interesting, I never would have guessed.” I think people are genuinely intrigued when they learn that about me, but the large majority don’t have any sort of context or experience to evaluate it, so it’s often not much more than one of those things you say when you have to give an interesting fact about yourself at those awkward ice-breaker games.
What is your passport country, and what shocked you about your passport country when you moved there?
My passport country is the US. Like so many TCKs, one of the things that shocked me most about the US is how much money people here spent on things that I thought of as luxuries. In some sense I think that was just due to a difference in standard of living. We never felt poor in Thailand, but I guess middle class families in the States spend a lot more on eating out, movies, and Starbucks than middle class families over there. On the other hand, when my standard for “luxury items” were things like real Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the blue box and real Kelloggs Frosted Flakes, maybe we can just chalk it up to being a kid…
Another thing that definitely shocked me initially much it seems like kids over here get away with disrespecting adults. I remember being really blown away when I saw kids mouth off to their parents or other authority figures with no consequences at all. Worlds different from the deep sense of respect for elders that I was used to from growing up in Asia.
What was schooling like for you?
I went to an international school in Thailand in a city 400 miles away from where my parents lived. I lived at a boarding house during the school year (with Harmony and Melody and my brother Paul and a bunch of other kids). I remember being homesick at the beginning of each school term, but I mostly remember loving the school, the teachers, and all my friends there.
What do you want people to know about TCKs?
That it’s impossible for me to ever really convey how important my childhood as a TCK was in forming who I am today. Imagine reading those “You Know You’re A 90s Kid If” posts and being clueless about most of the things listed. Imagine if instead, they were replaced by things like buying street food for 5 baht after school, riding a packed red songthaew around town, standing up before watching any movie in a theater, and riding a train overnight through jungle and rainforest at the beginning and end of every school term. And I can’t even explain all the differences, not just because there are a lot of them, but because I grew up with them. I grew up with those “differences” as my reference for normal, and that’s huge. As well-adjusted as some of us might be to our passport country or whatever country we’re in now, the formative years we spent abroad more than likely influence our worldviews, our attitudes, and every other aspect of our lives, whether we recognize it or not. No matter how much time any one can spend abroad, there’s nothing like having grown up overseas. I’m privileged to be someone who did.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences Evan! Readers, if you have any questions for Evan or any of the other TCKs I have interviewed, I know they would be more than happy to answer. Just pass on your comments or questions to me, and I will be sure to pass along the message.
Next week, I am really excited to post Amanda’s interview questions. Up until now, all the featured TCKs on this blog have been missionary kids. Well, Amanda has a different perspective to share because she was abroad for different reasons. Her answers will be up next Thursday!