So, fellow immigrants from Western Europe, wherever you are, I have a question for you.
Most of us spend the majority of our time writing expatically correct—and in my case Americally correct—posts, demonstrating how well we are adapting.
I’m no exception. With tongue in cheek, I can write a halfway funny piece about pretty much any random, absolutely unimportant quirky cultural difference. See my The Gap post. Yeah, it’s not hard to make fun of American public toilets.
People love posts like this. Or posts in which we write about the personal growth we experience, thanks to being permanently outside our comfort zone, and how grateful we are for this growth. And we even manage to believe it. We are able to take a step back and look at our environment and ourselves in it from a distance and laugh. Or at least shrug our shoulders.
I do, anyway. Most of the time. Next time.
But do you ever have moments that you hate the country you’re stuck in so deeply that you want to scream it to everyone you see? Except they can’t hear you because they’re all in cars, and the ones you most want to scream at are blithely driving around with their windows up, getting Rush Limbaugh fed into their unresisting brains?
Do you ever get so completely furious that your nose explodes and you have to hang over the sink looking like a feeding zombie for an hour before the bleeding finally stops?
Do you ever want to wave flags and jump up and down to get the attention of the state troopers or the NSA or the Dubai behavior police or whoever the fuck, depending on where you are, and yell at them, “Hey, I’m over here! I hate your fricking country and why don’t you ask me why, you halfwit redneck nazi?”
Do you ever feel so powerless and helpless and lonely that you almost don’t care if they’d take you away in a straight-jacket, because you feel like you’re losing you mind anyway, so that would be totally appropriate?
Do you ever break down when you’re alone and admit out loud that you just want to go home, and does it tear you apart at moments like that because you know that’s never, ever, ever going to happen?
Or is it just me?