Expat syndrome

Authored By Brian

Yesterday, Patrick and I went to a friend’s house in the suburbs where they have a pool for a little swimming. The house was interesting because it was quite large and very nice. The neighbors next door had a Mercedes and an Audi so it was a wealthy area but was located adjacent to a string of high power electricity lines and some very large tanks like the Martinez oil refinery tanks in the Bay Area. An odd place to put your extremely nice house. Without sunblock, it felt like the sun was touching my skin it was so hot. Closer to the equator you can really feel the sun but spending time outdoors was worth it.

Last night we met up with a Canadian friend of Patrick, Michele, who was celebrating her last night here in Rome before going back to Montreal. Everyone at the table worked at the UN Food Organization here and came from Canada. Michele has been here for two years but hasn’t learned enough Italian to get beyond basic day-to-day needs; nothing approaching conversational. Patrick said that she spends most of her time with the Canadians so they naturally speak English to each other.

What a travesty to live in a foreign country and then surround yourself with your own culture

There is a group of expats in Madrid that gets together for volleyball and drinks occasionally but I need to be careful about speaking too much English. One of the reasons I want to spend time in Spain is to practice my Spanish and obtain some level of proficiency. It seems tragic to spend two years immersed in Italy and not walk away with the language.

At the moment, the gods have smiled upon us and delivered rain this morning to Rome. The temperature is 13 degrees centigrade less today at 21. It’s almost nice enough to put a shirt on!

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