On another S. Asian note, I just had to send off my much-delayed employment forms to Vermont College, so I can actually get paid for my teaching. They needed a copy of my green card for the government forms, and I had a moment of sheer and utter panic when I couldn't find it in my wallet. I eventually remembered where it was (with the originals of my application for citizenship), but I just don't think I can explain how odd and frightening it is these days, living in the U.S. without being a citizen.
It's particulary strange because it's a recent phenomenon; my entire life, being a permanent resident felt identical to citizenship to me, aside from not being allowed to vote and not being eligible for a few government grants. I have no accent. I grew up in Connecticut. Most of my friends didn't even realize that I was technically a permanent resident, rather than a citizen. Then 9/11 happened, and the Patriot Act, and now, the world is different. It's frightening to leave the country now, knowing that there's some non-negligible chance that I won't be allowed back in. Even if I don't leave the country -- at any moment, some random person could accuse me of a crime, and if convicted (wrongfully or not), I would be kicked out, sent 'back' to Sri Lanka -- a country I left when I was two years old. I have no memory of living anywhere other than America.
This has become a strange place.