It's an odd thing to be an exile in the country that you were born in, but I know I'm not the only one.who feels this way. My parents certainly did and moved to Alaska long before it became the 49th state. Taken from Manhattan at an age when I was not yet able to voice my objections, I was always resentful of that and was positive that New York City was my true home, until I moved to Bangkok.
Anybody can move to Bangkok without any form of preparation. I've done it. As a result, I've also learned that it's possible to live on two dollars a day while maintaining a heavy nicotine addiction, and that becoming thin can be quite easy when you make your living teaching English. Anybody who wants to know how not to move to another country can find out by reading my forthcoming book of essays, Tone Deaf in Bangkok.
Now, as I prepare for a more grounded adoption process of the city that I plan to live in forever, I'm shivering and sunstarved in the Pacific Northwest, feeling like a stranger in a country that seems to have no conception of what it really wants and needs. (Don't believe me? Spend an hour in your local supermarket and try to find ten grocery items that are fresh and have flavor. Or try going to a doctor when you have no health insurance. For real fun, look for an apartment when you make the minimum wage that your state deems sufficient for survival.)
It's sometimes difficult for me to make sense of what I see every day in this most livable of American cities, Seattle, now that I have a different perspective from another corner of the world. As I write about where I am and where I want to be, I hope to have a continuing conversation with people who read this blog and leave their comments. Let's talk.