A diary about the other side of moving abroad

I often think that I am not in America. This country has always been so far away from me, even it was just an 8-hour flight. The U.S. always appeared as a sacred land to me, even though I knew about all the trouble going on here. In a way it is shockingly normal here. Today I saw a man cutting the gras in front of the museum and I thought, this is happening in every other country too. Why isn’t it more spectacular here?

When you travel a lot around the globe, you sometimes forget where you are. The small differences in gestures and habits which seem interchangeable, remind you that you are in a foreign country, but you don’t know in which country or on which continent you are right now. Then it takes like 2 seconds for you to realize, where you are. While you are busy remembering, you sort of guess, you have a feeling where you might be. Somewhere in eastern Europe maybe? They cut gras like this person. And when your reason tells you that you are in America, it doesn’t fit to the feeling you just had. And you catch yourself asking: Isn’t everything over there more spectacular, automatized, more fancy, more patriotic?

A person from abroad has many stereotypes about the U.S. in his head. They come from the Media, movies, TV-Shows, YouTube. Often you feel as if you were living in a TV show. I caught myself smiling a lot, when I experienced something typically American. I would say to myself: It is exactly like in the movies here. And these moments happen. I never felt more American as in the Gillette-Stadium watching an NFL Game of the Patriots. In these moments you smile, shake your head and think: “These Americans”. And somehow you love it. In a way that was why you came here.

But there are also these other moments. Where everything is going the same way as in every other country on this planet. Where the garden keeper is not carrying an American flag while cutting the gras. Where you don’t feel like you are in America.

You are just feeling like you are on planet earth. And in these moments, you realize the value of all the travels and hustles you went through. All the alienization. It shapes you as a citizen of this worlds beyond the ideologies, the images, the symbols and the believes which separate more than unite.

I am a child of the world, but I hold another countries passport.