Are memes dead? If yes, hooray! It’s safe to go blogging again.
I took part in memes once or twice, but cringed while doing so.
Not because I think they sucked like so many chain letters that promised good luck if passed along and eternal damnation if you didn’t, but because the questions posed either didn’t interest or didn’t apply to me. Many were aimed at 16- to 30-year-olds living in some suburb somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA and packed with questions about tattoos, the local mall, school, dating, your parents, God, baseball, and your last holiday in Jamaica. In other words, written with a separate species in mind.
So here’s a meme I never took part in, because it never arrived my way. An expat meme, with questions I might have answered had anyone bothered to ask them. Now it’s too late.
How long have you lived away from your home country? Going on 20 years.
Do you still feel like you’re just visiting? All the time. I’m serious.
What do you notice the most has changed about your home country when you go back for a visit? More American influence in media, language and culture in general.
If you were to move again, would it be back to your home country? Without a doubt.
Do you ever get homesick? Only in the run-up to a holiday back home. You can tell right here because I start to write memory-laden posts about the old days.
If you read the news, do you read it in your native language or that of your host country? English mostly, but German and French as well.
What do you like the most about Germany? The amount of free time I have. It’s something I value very highly. That and no Sunday shopping. One day a week where consumerism has to hit the brakes.
What grates you the most? Whiners who bitch and moan about Germany but refuse to leave, offering up a dozen excuses for not doing so. Get the hell out if you don’t like it. What are you waiting for? Someone to decide for you?
Did you speak the language of your host country before you arrived? Not a bit.
How long did it take before you felt comfortable speaking the language? I’m still not completely comfortable unless I’ve had a couple glasses of beer.
If people switch to English when you speak to them in their language, how do you react? I like it! It means they’re reaching out for a connection, which is good, so I usually say something back in English to see how far it will go.
What has been the biggest change you’ve had to make in leaving your home country? In Hamburg, I can’t go hiking in the mountains. There’s no skiing or mountain biking worth getting excited about for a thousand km, and I can’t just drop by a tennis court anytime and start playing.
If there were a button to improve anything about your expatriate life, what would it say on the button? For free flights home, press here.
**So, that’s it. You are not required to pass this on. You may, however, look closely at that photo and tell me what’s weird about it. Aside from the guy on the right.