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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who I am depends on...

Where I am...

In India I was a foreign manager from headquarters in Paris.
In Japan I was an expatriate gaijin project manager from Europe.
In Morocco I was a green-eyed fellow-student from the U.S.
In Canada I was a problem, "We'd like to see your French papers, Madame."

In France I am an immigrant.
In Europe I am a resident third-country national.
In North America I am a citizen of the United States of America.

Who I am with...

To my French family, I am a foreign bride married to their son/brother and mother to two French girls.

To my American family, I am their daughter, sister, aunt who happens to be married to a foreign man and lives abroad as the mother of two American girls

To my French friends, I am an American.

To my American friends, I'm still an American... more or less.

But to my friends in the Flat world, I'm just another one of those "people who move around" - a cultural relativist, international misfit, existential migrant.

This is my tribe.  ;-)


Dean Metcalf said...

I liked this piece. Feels familiar to me. When someone asks where I live, I usually look down at my feet. So far, I've managed never to be separated from them. Where they are, that's where I live. And I think, What a stupid question! I live where I am! And my identity is not defined by a multicolored rag, thank you. I've been saying for decades (mostly to myself) that "the Time of Nations is over." Still waiting for someone to listen...

Victoria FERAUGE said...

I'm glad the piece resonated with you, Dean. The question, "where are you from?" is one that exacerbates me to no end. "Where do you live?" is a step up but not by much...