Monday, March 16, 2009

A stranger in a strange land

Well, the last time expateek checked in, she'd just completed her big trip across the pond, from Warsaw to London to Edinburgh to Chicago.


IMG_6688 chicago flight plan, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.


She landed at O'Hare in Chicago, she was driven "home", and then she closed the door of her American flat, and pulled the covers over her head for about a month a couple of days.

Really, no. expateek's fine. Really. She's also already kicked that nasty Dextromethorphan habit, and she's ready to rock and roll. Which means mostly rolling her eyes at this moment, but never mind. It'll all be fine. Really.

Truthfully, she's been busy getting her hands on a car, and a mobile phone, and learning where the grocery stores are, and driving Mr D to work and back every day. She's doing the school run for Mr D, which is totally okay, as Mr D is all about saving money and being green (unless being green is more expensive than being cheap, in which case he opts for the cheap option). And not that there's anything wrong with that.

Because reality is setting in, and expateek's returned to a United States that she doesn't recognise. She knew the global financial crisis was dire, but the shuttered storefronts and the empty highways are unnerving. She was appalled by this advertisement on the side of the road near Oakbrook Mall.


IMG_6734 foreclosures edit, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.


How Americans are spending their free Saturday afternoons: "C'mon, Honey, let's get on the bus and tour all the foreclosed homes, just for kicks, shall we?" Schadenfreude, anyone?

Shiverrrrrr. That is chilling.


But enough about all of that. expateek is trying to look on the bright side, and not complain too much, because after all, things could be worse. She's putting on her eyeliner every day, and she hasn't cried yet, so that's pretty encouraging, all things considered.


IMG_6754 rearview mirror, originally uploaded by ehdindigo.





And thanks to Lady Fi, over at the Strange Shores blog carnival, for highlighting my blog in her latest post and in fact forcing me out of my self-indulgent sulk. Nothing like publicity to pull one out from under the duvet! If you'd like to read some other fascinating expat stories, pop over to hers for a visit.


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7 comments:

Christine said...

Tour the foreclosures? Shiver indeed! LOL

How long have you been away from the States?

expateek said...

Seven years! I only came back for three visits (two weeks each time) in all that time... so it feels mighty strange. And of course, the current economic situation has made the whole thing even weirder. Last time I was here, business was booming and the sun was hot and shining, and everyone was full of enthusiasm and go-get-em positivity. Not so much, now!

ladyfi said...

Oh gosh - what a culture shock! But welcome back...

Lulu said...

Yeah you're back. I am an British expat living in Warsaw - we unfortunately never met. Love your blog.

expateek said...

Thanks, ladyfi, and again thanks for the link! You got me out of bed...

Lulu -- sorry we didn't meet. Hope you're adjusting smoothly. Have you joined up with any groups yet, or are you working? The AFW is nice, Varsovie Accueil if you speak French, IWG.. and I believe there's also a just-Brit expat group. Keep in touch, let me know if I can help at all.

Iota said...

Yikes, that bus tour...

Jim said...

Not just the depressing bus tour. looks like the weather's awful. Did you hear that the Indian Premier League (cricket) being forced out of India for security reasons was considering whether to come to England or go to South Africa. Outdoor games in England in April! They're off to South Africa until the rest of the world warms up a bit.

Lurve the new profile pic.