When people ask me where I am from, the first place they assume is that I’m from a city of China. People look and think that because of the color of my skin that obviously I’m Asian, which means that I am automatically from China. I’m here to say sorry, I’m not from China, but I do have a Chinese heritage. I was born and raised in Wilmington, DE. It is a pretty small state, but even the tiniest packages hold the biggest surprises.
Some places that we like to hang out would be the malls, the Pit, Lucky’s diner, Regal’s Cinema, the beaches, and the state parks. Basically in this town, these are the only places that we could drop whatever we were doing and go within moments notice. I’ve grown up here and I have many fond memories of what it use to be. Such as remember when Christiana mall still had water foundations all around and running down the steps to throw my three little pennies into the foundation while screaming from glee of making it to the top tier. These places are pretty much an institution and have been around longer than I have been alive. The Pit that I was referring to is Charcoal Pit. Growing up, people had different nicknames for different places and if you weren’t a Delawarean, you would be so confused as to why we do this. These are some of the places that we can walk in our pj’s and not be judged for it. We can show our true personalities.
Nostalgia is everywhere, wherever you go there is most likely a memory of part-taking in an activity there. Such as taking your first vacation at Rehoboth, buying your first date outfit at Rave, attending a Blue Rocks game, or going to St. Helena’s carnival with your friends and crush. Going to the beach and remembering traveling to grandma’s house and stuffing your face with candy and ice cream before actually going to the beach. Also knowing which beach is best to go at what time of year and is less crowded. Everywhere we go, the odds of seeing someone that you recognize from school or from work is nine out of ten. Even when you’re stopped at a stop light on Foulk and Grubb in front of Stanley’s Tavern, you can see your friends driving in the car next to you or making that right turn from Grubb. Sometimes when I go to work, I would see Joe Biden’s relative or happen to see governor Jack Markell grabbing take out. Even though the places we go are the same as the other times we’ve been there, the experiences change each time.
Other quirky characteristics that make Delaware and Delawareans unique are when whenever we say that we are from Delaware, they’d always inquire “where is that”. Then we would add on that its near New York or Pennsylvania, in case they still had no idea where it is. We also like to complement our fries not with ketchup, but with vinegar. When we are shopping, we aren’t shocked by the tax free prices unlike out-of-towners, who pay almost double for the same things. Frequently, despite being tax-free, we still like to search for great shopping deals. We sometimes pronounce water as “wudder,” “that-a-way” means in that direction, and “beggle” as bagel. In addition, we know that Concord is pronounced “con-curd,” Newark is “new-ark,” and Naamans is “nay-mans.” The only time Delaware is even on people’s radar is when Firefly Music Festival is happening in Dover. Although, these quirky traits may seem bizarre and perplexing to you, but these traits make us who we are.
No matter if we know everyone in our town, we could always meet someone new and we just don’t realize it until later. We hold many surprises ranging from natural beauty at the state parks to creative events hosted down by the Wilmington Riverfront. Just because we are small does not mean we are any less of a state.