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to be an expat

How can I even begin to explain the experiences of an expat?  The great assumption is that East and West are terribly different. One is vilified, the other painted as a land of patriots and heroes. One is crude and filthy the other has streets paved with gold. Look up and you will see miracles of architecture. Beyond the windows there are supposed to be good people, open smiles and warm hearts. How can I tell you that none of this is true? How can I untie my shoes, and somehow put them on your feet three thousand miles away? You would never believe what secrets they have to tell.

Every time I go back to the states I become more embarrassed to be an American. I overhear conversations in the street, the whines of privileged and moneyed voices. Coddled, dumbed-down and mislead they are drunk on a calculated fairly tale. And then back in Moscow, the same ignorance - the same questions from curious taxi drivers about how good it must be in America, where everything is possible and life mu…

make you feel my love

E does not want to sing any more. I wonder if this is a case of becoming her own worst enemy, a trait she might have inherited from me. We do try a few songs at the kitchen table, but her heart is not in it. She would rather play piano, but she refuses to do anything in time so it is very hard to play together. She is simply on her own course. I decide to step out of the way, and let things unfold. My regret has been noted, and I sit down to sing all by myself this time, while she watches one of her tv shows in the next room, curled on her bed.

Later, she agrees to stand in the cold showing some words on cards. I show her the original Dylan clip. She nods, as if she knew about it already, a piece of old news.








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