One very cool thing about today is that we have Facebook. Granted, Facebook can lead to a lot of problems for a lot of people, particularly those who don’t use their privacy settings. It can also lead to hurt feelings. I resisted joining Facebook for a long time, until an old friend talked me into it. Oddly enough, she seems to have dropped off Facebook.
Anyway, the other day, I looked up a guy I knew in Armenia who had been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Russia, back when Russia still needed some help. He later got a job in Armenia while I was there and we ended up becoming friends. I taught business English at his place of business and he also rented an apartment from an Armenian friend of mine whom I met while singing in a choir.
His former landlady is probably one of the best piano players I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing live. We used to get together on Saturdays. She’d practice her English and we’d practice music. She was a neat lady, though a bit on the eccentric side. My friend who rented her apartment told me horror stories of cleaning it up.
I sent this guy a friend request and he remembered me! I always worry that someone either won’t remember me or will think I’m too annoying to be friends with. But anyway, he’s a good guy… still lives abroad and has had some very interesting assignments as an expat. Twenty years ago, I wanted to be back in the States, but now I realize that I envy people who can live abroad.
One of the reasons I like living abroad is that you often end up meeting people you would never meet otherwise. When you are a minority, you end up running into people who are like you… perhaps people you would not meet if you both lived in your homeland. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, of course. You can run into assholes you might wish you’d never laid eyes on. But sometimes you end up meeting folks who are very intelligent, talented, and interesting. Of course, you might also meet other expats from other countries, too. I bumped into folks from all over the world when I lived abroad.
Once you’ve done that and survived it, you kind of crave it again… or at least I do. I miss being out of the country, even though it can be a pain in the butt to live somewhere else. I remember being sad when my husband told me we were moving to Germany because I realized it would be a logistical pain. But once we got there and got settled, I really loved being abroad and didn’t look forward to leaving. Living abroad is a challenge… and it can lead to great bonding experiences with other people.
I hope we get to do it again someday…