Skip to main content

Featured

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…

the black sands of Ureki


I wonder what might happen if we all measured time by how often we stand looking out at the ocean. The muscle of the sea turns in on itself, a clock, a pendulum, a rocking chair. All at once, the fragrance of salt and seaweed returns, that sticky perfume on the back your arms as you step into a cool elevator, and to the hushed room. There is a balcony, and almost a view. Trees are bending in a low wind. The sound of children laughing filters up to us.

V is jumping on the bed, more puppy than three year old. E is shuffling around the space as if she is measuring it, shoulders hunched in curiosity. N is already unpacking the suitcases, lining the shelves in the closets until she is satisfied.

There is black, magnetic sand here in Ureki. They say it has magic properties, that it can cure your ills. I see children that look like they have been rolled in black tar, with grandmothers spraying the sand off of them, as they shout from the cold water. The black sand scatters across floors, the insides of shoes. I imagine we will take a good amount back with us, without knowing it.

I get a proper sunburn on the first day, my skin staring back at me that night, that red face of mine in the mirror. There is a bottle of cold wine, with great beads of sweat running down its sides. A table on the balcony, a little chair that is already familiar. Here, I will write more of that new book when everyone has gone to sleep, when the only sound will be the scratch of my pen on good paper, and the sea.

Comments

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs