I think things were going well, til I started talking instead of drinking and then I swear I saw tears well up in her eyes…..
One thing you need to know, in case you didn’t already, about the difficulties of expat life, is to have visitors that you really enjoy, and that almost completely and un-noticably remove you from your daily life, routine, and people. Does that sound confusing? Stay with me.
You move to a different country where you don’t have family and you probably don’t have many friends. But you network, you get around, get involved, and over time, you find your buddy, or your preferred activity, and before you know it – you’ve got a life. Hopefully an interesting one. All the while, naturally you keep in contact with your old friends scatterred about the world, writing neverending lines of emails and frequent skype calls. You even hope those friends would visit, because it would be fun to have them here, to see and live in your world for a bit.
That’s where it gets complicated… in my twisted and very experienced opinion. They make that journey, and you clear your calender or conveniently forget previous engagements (as I have). Upon arrival you’re there, at the airport, trainstation, hotel – and you start leading them around, pointing to things, and buying them rounds. You think yourself lucky, to have your friend with you for awhile, and you do more partying then you otherwise would have all year. But it’s no problem. In fact, it’s fun, it’s easy, and you lose track of time, year, and tasks to be done.
So when a night like this comes round, when all the great visitors have left or will leave within hours and you’ve said your goodbyes. Sometimes… I’d say often times.. you find yourself sitting at a café after midnight, just you and your lovely companion for the evening, you start reminiscing. Then story telling. Then you don’t even have to say anything cause your lack of energy and temporary time-space insanity is understood. And somehow you may have depressed her, cause she understands the catch22 of life abroad:
When you get the visitors that you truely enjoy for days on end, it is very strange to say goodbye and return to life as usual, like nothings changed.
Photo by Tony, who’s jetlagged in LA right now.