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My husband and I , with our dog, Tate, moved to Buenos Aires, 8 years ago. Life has never been the same since ~ Back in the USA ... life is still not the same !
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ex-Pat

Someone said to me that they aspired to be called an "Ex-pat" some day.
I thought about it later and realised that while I have known Ex-pats, thought about what it would be like to be one ... I used to dream of living in England or Paris ..
I never actually gave a lot of thought to what it actually means.
It never really seemed more than a passing thought, nothing I would ever actually deal with.

And so , here we are , two Ex-pats living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We speak English .
We speak Castellano and the level we speak is somewhere around maybe a toddler learning to say something other than Mama.
I take that back, I speak menu and shopping pretty damn good.
My husband speaks a lot better than I .. he has a memory. I misplaced mine.
He remembers words for me, sometimes, through some sort of hiccup in time and space, I remember a word for us.

So here we are , we live in a building with only Argentines.
Our neighbourhood is that of the British Embassy but I never speak to any British people around here.
We shop and eat and cafe hop with the locals .. we are Ex-pats but don't behave like proper Ex-pats.

We have never eaten or had  drink at a restaurant called Kansas.
We have never stepped foot in the Hard Rock Cafe and we never go to Starbucks.

None of this is especially considered at the time, we just never went to eateries of that sort and we like the coffee here much more than the Starbucks we remember from back in the US.
I shop in the malls and buy everything here that I need.

When the visitors come, they bring "Care Packages" .. these usually have things that do not exist here and  are special treats.
Fabric softener sheets. ( I know, I know )
Lubriderm lotion. I am allergic to some things and this is not one of them and I need it bad.
And Roses Lip Balm. Haven't tried it ? Why ever not ?? Go buy some, it is cheap .. cheeep.
Your lips will kiss you, they will be so happy.

So now I consider the idea of leaving Buenos Aires and living in the United States again.
Will I go through a reverse homesickness ?
Will I miss being an Ex-pat ? Will we be ex-Ex-pats ?
Will we speak the language ?

A lot to consider.
Friday, perhaps we will just sit in a darkened theatre and enjoy listening to Maggie Smith and Michael Caine and polish up on our English .

6 comments:

Razmataz said...

I always think why go to a country and patron the places you went to back home. Dig in and get your feet wet and go with the locals....easier said than done. I/m not a very adventurous traveler.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I bet you are adventurous !
I think most people don't consider themselves adventurous. I didn't .. I just sort of go along with my husband or what really appeals to us and it works out. I think if we had a terrible experience along the way, we would not be so willing to try to places but everywhere has been so great ! Especially Buenos Aires.

Furtheron said...

Michael Caine!? Surely Gambon, Hurt or Olivier etc. would be better choices to hone ones accent

NotesFromAbroad said...

LOL, Actually, Furtheron, I named Mr Caine because he is in the movie but he still speaks English, which is nice to hear sometimes.

Pearl said...

Will you speak the language?

:-)

Actually, I'll bet it's not easy returning. The U.S. moves at a fast pace. But you'll get used to it, won't you, just as you've gotten used to so very many things...

Pearl

NotesFromAbroad said...

Pearl .. the part about not being easy is so true, we really love it here. My last memories of a well and happy Pup were here.
But the fast pace ? We will be going to NYC at first where we all know the pace is fast but then we are looking for a home in the countryside, which will be sloooow paced I think.
The pace here is not so slow .. it is a huge city ..
h u g e .

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Expat blogger

living in Argentina