The Ambivalent Expat

I wrote a piece that I feared would offend everyone I know about life as an expat in Vienna. Luckily no one has written me hate mail who was offended has told me so! Yay!

2013-05-16 14.13.03

(Life as an expat: Lots of dirty baby clothes. No dryer.)

***

When my husband and I moved to Vienna, Austria, two years ago, we were frequently set up on friend dates. This is par for the course for a new expat — someone hears that you’ve moved to some faraway city, and their coworker’s cat’s former owner’s cousin always knows someone who — can you believe it? — just happens to be your neighbor. No matter how outlandish the setup — they were born-again Christians or Hassidic Jews, they were hated by the very people who’d put us in touch — we always went.

After these meetings, I would invariably turn to my husband and say: We’d never be friends with these people in real life.

Real life: this was my phrase. Not in New York, where I had lived for 12 years, or the vague back home, but in real life, as though I had skipped a track and found myself in a different, parallel universe.

Read the rest on Medium!

xoxo

One thought on “The Ambivalent Expat

  1. daniel sklar says:

    Dear Ab,
    I just read your piece a second time and like the first, I was deeply impressed with your honesty and your willingness to explore, regardless of where the road leads. That courage and your ever compelling voice make this new piece special. But reading it a second time, I also felt a lonliness and even fear. Those feelings were scary but they also made me trust you even more. This piece works on a whole new level. I’m really proud of you.
    Je t’embrasse,
    D. Judah
    Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 09:16:28 +0000
    To: play_making@hotmail.com

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