(My From Above post inspired me to write the following post.)
I’m a New York City girl. I was born & raised there, it’s part of my identity, and it reverberates through my heart & soul. No matter where I go, it’ll always be my first home.
So when I began receiving e-mails some years ago from different agencies & organisations, recruiting Americans to work overseas, I refused many of them. Why, you ask? Among other reasons, I just couldn’t see myself living that far away from a city centre. It was only when I was ready, and only when I received e-mails from bigger places, that I decided it was time to make my move.
So here I am, solo, almost 3 years later. Although I know people here, they either don’t like doing the things I do and/or they’re flakes. Also, although there are lots of couples here (which is a feat in itself, in my opinion), dating in this country is different from dating back home. Since moving here, no one likes me, no one approaches me, and despite my many efforts at being open to dating/relationships here, nothing ever happened. As a result, I do things solo 98% of the time.
This is where being a city girl comes in handy. There are so many things to do here, I can get on solo with no problems. For example, in the From Above post, I went to the food festival on my own. I asked a couple of people if they wanted to go, and they either never responded or they flaked out on me at the last minute… which is why I often don’t bother inviting people with me anywhere. Since my friends are back home and they’re the only ones who like at least some of the things I like, I just do things on my own over here. What better place to do that than in a big city? (And as I’ve said countless times, thank goodness for Meetup.) I know I wouldn’t do well solo if I was far outside of a big city. I probably would’ve moved back home by now, honestly, if I lived that far away.
So for me, living in or very close to a big city suits me best. I need access to many different venues & activities, and a big city usually has these things easily accessible to its inhabitants & visitors. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate suburban & rural areas for escaping from the negative aspects of city life, including
stupid self-entitled neighbours with loud, crying, whining ass children noise & rude people. But even in a big city, I can find (and have found) a quiet place to call home.
So expatriates, in what environment did you grow up? In what environment are you currently living, and which one do you prefer & why?
This post sounds about right to me. Personally, I found myself nodding my head in agreement while reading this. Fellow expatriates, take a look. Do you identify with the original post, or was yours a different experience? Feel free to comment & share.
Side note: This post somewhat ties in to the next post that I’ve already drafted (and briefly mentioned in my Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above post). Please stay tuned.
The reality is (I promised myself I wouldn’t use the phrase “In this economy”) a lot of people have to relocate in order to achieve their desired career/lifestyle/lack-of-total-poverty. This is as frightening as it is exciting. Yes, a change of scenery can be refreshing and can totally alter one’s perspective and approach to life, but it can also make one feel alienated, vulnerable, and generally #dark.
There are some very real stages of acceptance in the transition between cities/lives. I’ve recently gone through this myself, having relocated from Montreal to New York City, but so far so good.
Keep these grounding mantras in mind and you might get through it all right. Not like, “everything works out like it does in the movies” all right so much as “avoiding a panic attack and/or emotional meltdown” all right.
You will want to see all of your friends who live in your…
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Alas… it was time to return to England. The last day was pretty uneventful – wandered around the city center/square, bought a few souvenirs, got something to eat, and did some people watching. Check below.
I happened upon an old bakery also. I bought a couple of souvenirs there to give to family members (raspberry & strawberry jams).
My lunch wasn’t that special, but I made sure to try out a Portuguese franchise under the circumstances.
People went about their day as I ate.
And so did the birds.
Soon, it was time to go to the airport to return to dreary ass England. I enjoyed myself and want to visit again in the future. (I also need to restart Portuguese lessons.)
Of course, as is my luck when I travel, returning to England wasn’t without a glitch. There was a flight delay for some time and, and a result, trains already stopped running by the time we landed. I had to take a bus home, and didn’t get in until well after 1:00 a.m. Never a dull moment. :-|
While I’ve not seen Uzi and my roommate since the trip, we’ve managed to stay in touch from time to time. I’ve seen the host at another gathering, and he’s alright. I hope/plan to travel with this Meetup group again in the near future. Stay tuned.
Start from the beginning of the trip (and click through at the end of each post). https://spinsterscompass.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/bomdia_lisbon-day1/
No one paid attention to her warnings; she said she’d be back. Many brushed her off. The man sat around, laughing with the other non-believers, and ignored his ex’s warnings. After all, she’d made threats before and never followed through, so why should he or anyone else believe her now?
There was 1 consistent thing about her, though: She didn’t always follow through, but she always gave a warning. Hindsight is 20/20.
So when she struck, boy, did she strike. She threw, flipped, and broke everything in her path. And when she was all finished, the man would have to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and start over from scratch. He’d know better next time – hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Like this woman, Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the United States with strength and furore. Meteorologists gave warnings which – unlike in the above scenario – most people heeded, and they did what they had to do to prepare and/or get the hell out of the way. Sandy started in the Caribbean, leaving death & destruction in her wake, and made her way up to the United States, where she first caused some problems in the southeast. But even that wasn’t the beginning. Over 2-3 days, Sandy lost a little strength but quickly made up for it as she went further northeast. The Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, northward… most states weren’t spared Sandy’s wrath.
Sandy was a bit temperamental, though, hitting some areas harder than others, as if some were less deserving of her wrath than other areas (even though they still felt her wrath). One of those areas is my hometown, New York City, and especially my borough. And watching everything from 3500 miles away is hard.
I’m one of those people who, when disaster strikes, wants to do whatever it takes to help – whether it’s a small cash donation or a big volunteering effort. 3 years after Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered with HfH for a day to help build a house. I couldn’t volunteer when Hurricane Katrina hit, so when I got the chance, I took it even though it was 3 years later. So being 3500 miles away from home, worrying about my loved ones and being unable to help, weighed down on me.
Along New York City’s coastline, people lost their homes, cars, and businesses. Trees and electrical live wires came down. Some schools and banks are still closed for a while. Public transportation shut down for a while (still experiencing a few glitches). And worst of all, some people lost their lives, with the youngest victims being 2 little brothers (photo). There are people who still don’t have electricity, heat and/or water in the middle of December.
I’m glad that my loved ones are safe, but my hometown is forever changed and my next visit will be bittersweet.
My hometown is still in dire need of help. Please give to reputable charities & causes so that we can rebuild again. (But please stay away from American Red Cross – here’s just one of many reasons why. And here’s yet another reason why. ) Thank you.
Volunteer and/or give responsibly (again, please stay away from American Red Cross – please see links in the last paragraph) http://www.fema.gov/volunteer-donate-responsibly
Personally, I donated to this organization because they have earmarks for Sandy’s devastation in Haiti, the United States, and general charity causes. They’re also ethical, and my currency converted to U.S. dollars. http://www.ftsociety.org/sandy-relief-fund/
I also like HfH. Donate to the one in my hometown – it’s rated 4 stars. https://www.habitat.org/cd/giving/one/donate.aspx?link=470
I’ve also heard great things about Occupy Sandy. Help them out – I may join their efforts when I visit home. https://www.wepay.com/donations/occupy-sandy-cleanup-volunteers
Bodies of missing Staten Island boys found http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121101/south-beach/body-of-two-year-old-missing-staten-island-found-thursday-police-said
Staten Island boys laid to rest http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121109/dyker-heights/thousands-mourn-boys-killed-when-flood-tore-them-from-moms-arms
Comprehensive, ongoing & local Hurricane Sandy coverage http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/tags/hurricane-sandy
President Barack Obama surveys New Jersey storm damage http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/11/01/president-obama-tours-storm-damage-new-jersey
President Barack Obama tours storm damage in New York http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/president-barack-obama-tours-storm-damage-new-york
Hurricane Sandy in pictures – D’NALI http://dnali.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/sandy-in-pictures/
So much on my mind that I can’t recline – Jose Vilson http://thejosevilson.com/2012/10/30/so-much-on-my-mind-that-i-cant-recline-on-hurricane-sandy
Stop stupid. Vincenzo screams – Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge http://philosophermouseofthehedge.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/stop-stupid-vincenzo-screams/
WebMD blog post: managing through a storm http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2012/10/managing-through-a-storm.html
WebMD news post: riding out a storm http://www.webmd.com/news/20121030/riding-out-the-storm-safely
Here’s another one that expresses what many of us can’t about the Connecticut massacre. Pay attention to the story, and always look into the eyes.
Nothing else to say. This is more than enough.
It’s an ordinary morning,
You get up,
You get ready for the day.
Have a good day at school.
Did you remember to pack your homework?
Did you do your homework?
eye roll … “yes mom, I did my homework, it’s in my bag.”
Will you put that phone away?
Stop texting your friend and finish your breakfast!
Oh my goodness, you’re running late, the school bus is almost at the corner.
Running down the front yard …
Bye baby, love you. See you later!
Love you too mom!
Stop texting and look where you’re crossing!
The day goes on …
Five hours later …
A call …
Mr So & So, Mrs So & So, Ms So & So,
There’s been a shooting at the school …
We regret to inform you that …
20 children (between the ages of 5…
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Hurricane Sandy. I’ll elaborate in my own post also.
By now I think everyone’s aware of the devastation that Sandy reeked on the Big Apple. My thoughts and prayers go out to my fellow NYers and I’m beyond grateful that my neighborhood didn’t sustain as much damage. Sure, I’m cut off from going to my permanent office because the subways are still shut down but I’ll go to one of our smaller sites and work from there tomorrow thru Thursday then maybe for a half day on Friday. I got video that I need to clean up but in the meantime, here are pictures of my neighborhood before, during and after Sandy. Honestly, I’m glad for the story my pictures tell since other neighborhoods weren’t as fortunate as mine.
Ominous Grey Skies
(with a view of the top of the Empire State Building from my living room window)
It’s Raining Leaves!
The sun’s trying…
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