Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Maybe you've seen them. Around 3.30 p.m. they storm the local grocery store, Denner, buying Cokes, candy, and cigarettes. They are the school kids. But they will shop there no more.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Recently, I asked a Chicago-based friend who went to Iceland on her honeymoon, how long they were there.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Is it possible to miss a clock tower? In other words, is it possible to miss a dinging, every fifteen-minute, 24/7 reminder of just exactly how much time I've just wasted on Facebook? A couple years ago, I would have said, no. No way. It is not possible to miss something like that.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Sometimes I feel like I don't know where home is. When I head back to Chicago, I've noticed that I always write "going home" in my Facebook status. But then when I get back to Switzerland, I've also been known to write, "home again". Can home really be both places?
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
“Americans are a disgusting people,” said my American husband the other day.
The sad thing is, I had to agree. If you go to the U.S. after living in Europe, you can’t help but cringe. People are fat. People are sloppy. People wear their pajama bottoms in public. (If you don’t believe me, see the above photo, taken in Naperville, IL).
Now I’m all for casual. I like baseball hats. I like sweatpants. And I don’t like the stress of worrying about what I’m going to wear to go to the supermarket. But still. There are limits, both in what should be casual and the amount of food that should be consumed.
To consider the level of casual, take an advertising agency creative director for an example. These people are notorious for taking casual to the limit.
In the U.S., a typical creative director dresses like he’s about 18 even though he’s 45. Baseball hat, untucked T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops or running shoes.
In Switzerland, a typical creative director wears a button down (tucked in), jeans, belt, and leather shoes.
Now be honest. What do you think is more appropriate? Has the American definition of casual been taken too far?
Monday, January 04, 2010
Sometimes I don't know how much longer I can live with being 5,000 miles away from friends and family. But at the same time, I love the adventure of living abroad. I love that I can be shopping in another country in 25 minutes. I love the stories that come from being a "foreigner". And I even love the challenge of learning another language (on most days).
It's a hard balance. On one hand, some of my friends have 2.5 kids and minivans while I have a laptop and a Swiss train pass. I still feel like a kid sometimes, traveling the globe without putting down roots that so many of my peers have at this point in their 30s. But at the same time, I wouldn't trade my experience living abroad for anything. I just wish I didn't always have to deal with those good-byes.
What about you? How do you balance being far away from friends and family? How do you deal with those good-byes?