The Best Of Both Worlds

I’m about to have a chat on the radio. I think it’s about blogging, perhaps it’s more about expat life, I’m not really sure – fingers crossed it’s not about fishing as today’s fishless river trip has proved I’m pretty low on expertise. At some point I will be asked where my favourite place to live is and if my children see themselves as Australian. On verbal autopilot I will say I don’t have a favourite I’ve liked them all for different reasons, and yes, my children are very much Australian.

“It’s the best of both worlds.” I keep hearing myself say it. And if I’m not saying it, someone’s saying it to me, offering it as an explanation of our current geographical state. Being able to come home for these long periods of time, having a house by the beach and an expat life to return to – it’s the best of both worlds.

I have no idea if it is or not.

It’s two very different worlds that we float between, grasping on to one while living the other, unable to make a decision. Where would we live? Where would G find a job? Would he have to change career? Could we start something new? Were we ready to call it quits? Was it time? Just a bit longer, another two, another five, another ten? We’ll know when it’s time. 

We met up with friends recently, they’ve returned to Australia. They have all the stuff we expats dream about: a family home in a leafy suburb, local schooling, relatives, and the familiarity of an Aussie life. How was it? How were they finding it? They’d been lucky, fallen on their feet, great job, good schools, nice neighbours – although, well, nobody really wants to hear your stories, no-one cares. We all giggled. No-one cares. It was said in jest, but it’s a lesson every expat learns – don’t go on too much about that other life, it’s a bit boring really, much easier if you just fit in, get local, lets talk about the car park at Coles, the politician who was caught drink driving, the fabulous new bakery. How much do you reckon Bob paid for the landscaping in his backyard?

We’ll think about it on the plane, as we we talk about school supplies and first days and which teachers we’ll get this year. We’ll wonder about the other kids on the compound, their holidays, what did they do? We’ll think about when baseball practice is going to start and which sports we’ll sign up for. We’ll think about it on the plane, the beach house, the neighbours, the kitchener buns at the bakery, parking our car in Coles car park and checking our mail box. We’ll think about Granny’s house and catching a fish with Grandad.

Grasping on to one while living the other.

The best of both worlds.

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