Singapore, I replied with no hesitation. Also Paris, London, Beijing, Bangalore, Buenos Aires, and hundreds of other places. Just like Algerians, I said, Americans feel a "pull" to go abroad, see the world and take advantage of all that globalization has to offer. Right now, I told him, there are Americans in the United States who dream deep dreams of coming to the city he already calls home (Paris).
Eva Hoffman once wrote:
Multivalence is no more than a condition of contemporary awareness, and no more than the contemporary world demands. The weight of the world used to be vertical: it used to come from the past, or from the hierarchy of heaven and earth and hell; now it's horizontal, made up of the endless multiplicity of events going on at once and pressing at each moment on our minds and our living rooms. Dislocation is the norm rather than the aberration in our time, but even in the unlikely event that we spend an entire lifetime in one place, the fabulous diverseness with which we live reminds us constantly that we are no longer the norm or the center, that there is no one geographic center pulling the world together and glowing with the allure of the real thing..."There is no center" - what an extraordinary idea. Just poles of attraction that change from one era to another and, in our time, they are multiplying rapidly. The lure of the unknown, dreams of distant shores and the desire to pack up and go somewhere, anywhere, other then the world into which one has accidentally been born is universal. I contend that the "people who move around," regardless of their country of origin, socio-economic status, skills, and talents, are fundamentally very much alike.
And that is why sometimes it is easier for two immigrants, an American and an Algerian, to speak freely, swap stories and come to a common understanding than it is for either of us to talk to our compatriots in the countries we left behind.