Monday, January 04, 2010

On Being Foreign

A commenter on another expat blog, pointed out this article from a couple of weeks ago in The Economist:
The funny thing is, with the passage of time, something does happen to long-term foreigners which makes them more like real exiles, and they do not like it at all. The homeland which they left behind changes. The culture, the politics and their old friends all change, die, forget them. They come to feel that they are foreigners even when visiting “home”.
I know I feel like a foreigner now visiting the UK :-(


Michelloui said...

Ditto :(

I used to think it was cool that people 'back home' thought I had picked up an accent, but now I feel a bit left out or something.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I'm sorry to hear that. That is hard not to feel 'home' anywhere.

Stella Jones said...

Yes, I understand. When I first went to the States, everyone was interested but as time goes on, they have their own lives and you have yours and you start to lose touch....then you go back for a visit and find that your favourite shop has disapppeared....and they don't sell that sort of sauce in the supermarket anymore...........and the TV programmes are all different. It's very hard to deal with, isn't it!
I feel very much half and half these days, half Brit., half American.
Blessings, Star

ADDY said...

I know exactly what you mean. Having lived in Germany for three years, it seemed strange when we returned to the UK. Subtle changes at first and then major ones made it seem like we were in a foreign country instead of our own.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree 100%, 150% even. I would love to live back home again, but sadly, that "home" now only exists in my memory. It's a very lonely and alienating feeling.

Zhoen said...

It's much the same when you move from one area in the states to another. Home evaporates, and never comes back. It's a disquieting feeling, but necessary to grow one's own soul, I've come to believe.

Corina said...

The difficulties of repatriation are sometimes greater than those of the actual expat experience. When we returned to Australia after almost 10 years away it was so frustratingly familiar and yet not. It takes time to adjust and it can be depressing. We were expected to know how everything worked, and we didn't. It was embarassing to say the least. Things change, it's a bit like your parents selling the family home. I know it will be even harder when we next/finally return "home" with our third culture kids.

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