tger greenhaddock: European Borg

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

European Borg

A while back Duncan at Expatriate Odyssey wrote a post about homesickness and the possibility of dying abroad and being buried in some foreign field. As I commented at the time, for many years I would have liked for my remains to be returned to British soil to be buried. But nowadays my attitude has changed; - the worms can have me anywhere they like.

This got me to thinking about an elderly gentleman I once shared a cabin with during a voyage between St Helena and Ascension Island. He was in his seventies, had spent most of his adult life in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and was returning to England for the first time since he left. He was a very interesting colonial character who certainly had a very romanticised view of England. He was going back to see it one last time before he died. He thought the old country was still populated by gentlemen & ladies having afternoon tea whilst watching the cricket match on the local village green. I was not going to be the one to shatter his illusion.

At the time I felt sorry for the old chap, but slowly, I believe, like him my view of England is now seen through rose tinted glasses. This probably explains why I am so disappointed with the place whenever I returned for a holiday. I will always follow and support the England football and cricket teams, but I am slowly starting to feel not so English anymore, and I am starting to feel more European. Whether this is a good or bad thing I don’t know. But I guess the assimilation process must have started.

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Blogger Maribeth said...

I have only lived long periods in America, so I cannot say that I wholey understand this. But I do understand a feeling of not being originally who I was when I started this life.
As I've traveled and lived in different countries I have found my attitudes changed. I'm no longer the little girl from New England.But more a woman of the world.

July 11, 2006 8:09 PM  
Blogger In Actual Fact said...

My realisation over the past three months of being back in England has been that my definition of being English was something that I built up in Germany. What I thought of as being English was, in fact, just supporting the football and cricket teams, being able to cook a mean balti and mocking Germans for having no sense of humour. If truth be told, I was mostly hamming the Englishman thing up because, for some reason, foreign women seem to like the accent.

After actually living in England though, I've realised that "I'm not one of these people." The only part of this nation that I seem to like, or at least find acceptable, is London. And that's only because it's so international. I haven't sunk as far as supporting the French at the World cup yet, although I was cheering for Germany.

July 11, 2006 8:37 PM  
Blogger The Naked Nerd said...

Can't say if it's good or bad dude, but I feel the same. I was born an American, but I've raised a family here, and home is where the heart is.

July 11, 2006 9:07 PM  
Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

I can understand you so well. I now know that when we go back to Canada, things will not be as they uesed to, but I will take it as it comes. For Orange, it's just a new experience. But I will surely miss many things from here. There is NO perfect world, just make the best of it. I have my heart in both worlds.

July 11, 2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger versteckt said...

I'm beginning to have these sorts of feelings, too. There are only 3 weeks before I return to the US for the month of August and I'm almost scared to go because I know I'm going to fit in even less than I did before. I've only lived in Germany for a half a year, but I consider it my home. It's where I learned how to really live and take care of myself. Going back to the US is going to be a strange thing and I'm somewhat anxious about it. Not sure what to expect.

July 12, 2006 12:51 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I used to think that I could move back to the US and pick up life there without missing a beat but every time I go back for a visit, I see that they've been moving right along without me and there's life there I can't even relate to because it came up after I left.

I suppose it's best to just bloom where you're planted.

July 12, 2006 12:58 AM  
Anonymous heza said...

I share Maribeth's view about belong to the world. Just sprinkle me over the ocean and maybe then will also touch every continent.

July 12, 2006 1:47 PM  
Blogger Rocky said...

I have changed my opinion on this recently. I once thought I knew where I wanted to be buried. But after I heard your remains could be turned into ash and hardened into a diamond, I thought that would be the best way to go. I'm over 6-3 and about 330 pounds, so imagine the "rock" my wife or some other relative could show off one day.

July 15, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I definitely have my heart in two worlds, none of which is where I'm from. I'm not sure what I would want, but I guess it's just best to be next to family in the end.

July 17, 2006 4:47 AM  
Blogger James said...

I am starting to feel the same way. I at first didn't miss America, then I REALLY, REALLY I don't again...Then I am flying there tomorrow for three weeks...I will let you know how I feel when I return to Europe......

July 18, 2006 7:50 PM  

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