Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Places I Would Rather Be

I'm doing a little light housecleaning around the blog -- I checked all the links in the blogroll last night, and yep, they all still work. I had to adjust a couple of them, but I was pleased to discover no new dead links. I also added Feministe and Feministing, two blogs I've been neglecting but which are both very good and not that similar in spite of the names. Tonight or tomorrow I'll be hitting the links menu on the left. If anybody has anything to recommend, let me know.

Anyway, most of my friends know that it doesn't take a great deal of encouragement to get me to yabber endlessly about the virtues of living abroad. Here's somebody else's version of the same experience: Hating America. (Please note: he doesn't hate America.) On a lot of things, I agree with him completely; on a few things, I don't. For instance, I don't ever remember hating America. I remember feeling very alienated from it for a while -- that's what reverse culture-shock is all about. Especially after three years living in a different culture (living in London is not as different as living in Guatemala, but more different than you'd ever expect without doing it) the experience of coming back to a place that you know intimately, and finding it unfamiliar and often bizarre is stressful. That may also, admittedly, be partly down to the fact that I left America during the Clinton years and finally returned after the WTC attacks. The America I came home to was not the same as the one I'd left.

I think there's a difference in intent between those who travel because they "hate America" and people like me. Now, yeah, I talk that way sometimes: fuck this country, I'm moving to Australia/Spain/Quebec/Budapest. But that's really just the intersection between two of my regular frustrations -- my frustration with my native culture's many shortcomings on the one hand, and my frustration with my blocked wanderlust on the other. I want to go live in Australia/Spain/Quebec/Budapest because I really, really want to and have always wanted to; the Bush administration is incidental. Mostly, I just fucking loved being an expat. I'm a born foreigner.

This month, given my druthers, I'd be in Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Someday, by god.
12:42 PM ::
Amy :: permalink