Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Expat Experience

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a bubble, disconnected from the rest of the world but still aware of it, seeing it all but not a part of it. Everything and everyone around me appears just a little bit different than what I have been accustomed to all my life. The young men in the street walk briskly, wear beige jackets and use heavy synthetic personal grooming products. The women more often than not default to a frown when you happen to catch their eye but otherwise appear to be normal, just a measure more dismal. I sit in the café and listen to familiar music in one ear and in the other I hear a background noise of a language I recognize but don’t fully understand, like something heard in a dream, so I just switch it all off and there I am, in a bubble in the middle of the room.