Beltane Waxing Planet Moon
Expatriates. Both my brother (see below) and my sister live the expat life in Southeast Asia, Mary in Singapore and Mark in Bangkok. I’ve only been over there once, in 2004, for one month, they have both been there over 20 years. That’s a long time to live in another culture, to live politically disenfranchised from the community in which you work and have your home, to live in a place where the familiar cues of home are either non-existent, weakened or have a different meanings, to live far from the places where you grew up and the people you knew then, including family.
On the other hand it gives you an opportunity without parallel to become a global citizen, to take in the lifeways of persons whose basic assumptions about life are different than your own. It gives you a chance, if you take it, to get to know yourself much better, for the you that you are stands out in bold relief in places radically different from your own.
It exposes you to the kind of danger Mark experienced over the last few weeks when his host country, a place he lives in because he loves it there, turns feral. Not only that, the wild citizens set up the zoo right outside his soi. Scary.
The expat life interests me, but I view it from a distance. The closest I come to it is the life of a Hoosier in the Gopher State. Sometimes it can come pretty close to that expat feeling, except I felt like an expat in Indiana, never in Minnesota. Except when they crank up the music for hockey or start hauling those ice-fishing houses out. Then, I feel a bit lost.