On How Expatriation Resets You (From “Make Me German”)

Make Me German

Now, some seven years later, I realize what moving abroad actually does — it resets you. If you live in one place for a long time, as I had in England, you are constantly surrounded by people that speak your language and share your culture, so it’s easy to forget how special it is. You see only its flaws and minor inconveniences. Or perhaps even worse, you think that the way you do things there is the right way. That there are normal people, and strange people, and fortunately enough, as chance would have it, you were born into the normal tribe, and all those other people over there, from other places, foreign places, with their strange cultures and languages and customs — those people are the strange ones.

Then, suddenly, you’re somewhere else with a completely different idea of normal.

Currently reading Adam Fletcher’s “Make Me German,” which has a lot of smart things to say about the transition from one country to the other, and feeling pretty understood.

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2 thoughts on “On How Expatriation Resets You (From “Make Me German”)

  1. Ginger May 31, 2015 / 8:32 am

    I’ll have to look for that book, it looks hilarious! And you are so right about ‘normal’ – as a German in England I sometimes do feel a little out of place (not separating rubbish into at least 43 different bins? How else will the planet make it to the end of next week!)

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