Here’s a thoughtful post from Bibliotropic about being an ex-pat (She’s British and living in Canada):
That’s the thing about being an ex-pat, I suppose. It’s so easy to feel like you have two homes and yet none. That you’re torn between heritage and upbringing, that anything you remember about before just holds you back from adapting to now, even when you’ve been out of that “before” place for decades. Assimilate or flounder, and oh, by the way, you’ll never really assimilate. At best, you’ll pass. If nobody looks too closely. And nobody questions why you’re using the wrong country’s term for something.
It’s worth reading the whole thing, and worth keeping in mind if in your writing you have a protagonist move from one country to another, like Trei in The Floating Islands We see that situation in fantasy pretty often, it seems to me.
3 thoughts on “On not quite belonging”
Still more shininess: Andrea Host just published short stories in “Pyramids of London” series.
I wrote a longish comment yesterday which seems to have vanished into the ether. There are a couple other writers in the SF/F field who’ve written about being expat or immigrant: Alma Alexander, born in a country that no longer exists (Yugoslavia), moved at age 10 to some place in Africa, moved between continents and countries for some years before settling relatively recently in Washington state.
Also Sarah Hoyt, born in Portugal, fell in love with the US and move here approximately college age. I remember something going by on her blog in the summer (IIRC) about how hard it was to acculturate. Not that she didn’t want to but so many non-obvious things were different here from her village life. My original comment had dug up a quote from the post, but I’m not going to try again. Tell her blog to search on Portugal and it’ll turn up.
Anyway, they’ve both talked about it, too. and hoyt brought up some of the less obvious difficulties about being in a new country which may be worth a look.
Occasionally a comment goes to moderation for no earthly reason. I will check for that on Monday.