Day 3 – Stepping out of my comfort zone

Staff Writer Matt Pinkney skims through the Mercury News during breakfast. // Photo by Hannah Chebeleu, Mosaic Staff Photographer.

Staff Writer Matt Pinkney skims through the Mercury News during breakfast. // Photo by Hannah Chebeleu, Mosaic Staff Photographer.

By Matt Pinkney, Mosaic Staff Writer

Today was my first day of going out and getting interviews.  I woke up both excited and nervous.  Obviously it was good to start making headway on my story, but I haven’t done interviews in a few months.  And every time I’ve done interviews, it’s been with kids.  Going out and interviewing adults is a completely different experience.  I hoped that nervous feeling in my stomach would go away.  Tea helps.

I spent the morning and lunch going over questions and doing some last minute research.  When I left with Hannah and Brian, I was more excited than nervous.  And then, more nervous than excited.  And then tired.  We picked up some other reporters and brought them back to campus.  I’ll admit I maybe considered leaving right then.  Not sincerely, but the thought was there.

We drove to Grand Century Mall in the heart of Little Saigon, the focus of my story.  We stepped out into the blazing sun and walked into the mall.  It felt like stepping into a foreign country.  Every sign was in Vietnamese, every store was catered to Vietnamese customers and everywhere, the Vietnamese language floated into my ears.  As an outsider, it was all fascinating and really cool to experience.  As a journalist, one question came back to my mind.

How do I talk to people?

The first woman we talked to was a little shy at first and sort of mumbled her answers to me.  Then Brian came to the rescue and explained who I was and what I was asking her.  After that, she was not shy about letting us know everything.  When Hannah asked her for pictures, she put on some makeup and let her hair down.  She was a beauty queen or something and she was very proud of her accomplishments.

The next lady we talked to was a lot shyer.  She worked at the supermarket and was really worried about us coming in and taking pictures.  She called her boss and everything was okay in the end. Hannah took a bunch of pictures of the market and the people in it.

We talked to a few more people in the neighboring Vietnam Town before finally heading home.  Little Saigon is a part of San Jose I hadn’t experienced or even really known about before, and I don’t think it’s something I would have experienced if it wasn’t for Mosaic.  I’m happy that I got this chance to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new.

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