Being an Expat, a new narrative

Mom’s still visiting and the weekend’s approaching (means husband comes home from his out-of-town job soon). Turns out we all wanted Things Made of Leather (mom = wallet, S = belts, me = black leather jacket) for Christmas… so what’s the logical thing for XpatAdventurers to do?

Head to the local post-holiday sales in dept. stores?  No!

Go to Florence, Italy, heaven for leather goods, of course!

We’ll be there Friday through Sunday, in a little hotel between the Uffizi Galleries and the Ponte Vecchio. The area’s as close to a living museum as I’ve ever seen. Photos to follow soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m doing on this blog these days. Adventures here and there are good and all, but to tell you the truth, I enjoyed this a lot more when there was a story to it, you know? A narrative arc, even if it was a pretty familiar (even trite?) one: heartbroken former stepmom flees to Europe to remake her life…

That was years ago now.

And then there was the part of being an expat that was all new and fresh and shiny, when every day was very nearly mindblowing, when I held out little plastic containers of pasta (gnochi, to be precise) and photo’d them for you to see how new and shiny and very nearly mindblowing every little last thing about living in this new, foreign country was.

But we’ve walked the neighborhood, you and I. We’ve explored local villages and eaten at all the neighborhood joints.

What happened next on this Expat’s adventure I imagine is probably pretty typical of most:

– after the Dating Game (a completely different story, see this post or that)

– I left the job I’d come here for and started over professionally in a place where I knew almost no one and didn’t speak the language. That went unbelievably well and I am indebted to one person in particular. She knows who she is (and now so do all of you).

– Then, after a while, my friends moved back “home.” That happens in expat communities.

Now, given that I skiied Andermatt last weekend and am going leather shopping in Florence today, I do not expect you to pull out your violins and play all the heavy, Wagnerian, sad songs for me. No, no, no. That is not the point. The point is… what the hell happened to Frances Mayes after Under the Tuscan Sun?

I’ve read some of those other books and they are pretty damned boring. Liz Gilbert’s gonna write about marriage next. Don’t even get me started on that!

So… all that is to say… in 2010 it’s time to write a new chapter, construct a new narrative. If you’re like me, when it’s time for this you think to yourself, “Oy Vay! I did that four years ago, and then again three years ago!  Enough already!”

I think we both know, though, that re-creation is the spice of life.

That, and turmeric.

And after the “Oy Vay” passes, something happens and off you go. I’m not quite there yet, just so we’re clear. I’m still at least a little in the “Oy Vay!” stage. Plus that, and I know this is probably a different post, I turn 40 this year. Oh boy, are there about to be some posts about that. You can also expect upcoming posts on my usual New Year’s Business.

For now, I’m going to the market in Florence and eating a lot of good food Under the Tuscan Sun.  Ciao tutti!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. “Now, given that I skiied Andermatt last weekend and am going leather shopping in Florence today, I do not expect you to pull out your violins and play all the heavy, Wagnerian, sad songs for me.”

    That line made me laugh out loud. I can hear you saying it!! YAY for the new narrative! I always enjoy your writing, so keep it coming, sister! Looking forward to see what you do here in the new year.

  2. Very much looking forward to not the new chapter but the whole new narrative you are creating… enjoy Firenze !

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