Thursday, June 04, 2009

I stole it from Bill Bryson.. 
The ex-pat's dilemma is that of having spent so much effort, to fit into a strange place (usually after having spent more effort than that, trying to fit into a space defined by others anyway) and then having to come back to the place you didn't fit into, in the first place. 

I fit into "old Texas" culture, where mavericks (not power-mad Barbies who mistook their uterus for a clown car) were normal, and normal was not. 

This, once I did the work of translation, fit rather seamlessly into the values of Bavaria.
Seeing pictures of a house some dear friends are moving into there, and hearing of other friends moving out of their very nice place in Freiburg, just made my heart ache for the great comfortable blocky architecture of German houses. 

Living in Frederick provides glimpses of Old Europe in the great stone churches, cobbles & bricks, elegant & antiquated, a little patina of time on a great American city. There is a Pythian Castle, and gargoyles here and there. 

It brings me comfort, but it also makes me homesick for a truly great cappuccino or some of the terribly simple, high quality things we got used to. 

I found a little cafe where they put cool, crunchy steamed asparagus in salads & sandwiches, and the older proprietors treat everyone like kids who wandered into the house with their friends.  (FSK Kaffe on Record)  I can sit in there, chit-chat & read the Post as long as I like. 

I have a garden in the ground, an analogy to a life trying to take root in a place. 
Chuck says he is putting talcum powder on his "itchy feet" and I am doing my best to hold out against homesickness. I did it before, when we moved overseas. I was pretty bad for about a year.. but if I stay on the ground, I can grow some roots, wherever I am. 

Once I get into the swing of the seasons, once I get my garden(s) going, I can be happy just about anywhere we can both be healthy, see a lot of our friends, learn stuff and have some fun. 

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