Got milk? I don’t! As I linger in the dairy section of a Swiss grocery store I quickly realize that shopping is going to be trickier than initially anticipated. Sure, buying milk should be straight forward enough, until you’re faced with 17 different types of milk, all in French or German, with packaging of little blonde children who are clearly mocking me with their beady blue eyes (stay back you scary Children of the Dairy!).
Living abroad can be the most exciting, terrifying, entertaining, frustrating, and awe-inspiring choice a person can make. It comes in handy when trying to impress people at your high school reunion, but then completely backfires when you have to resort to charades to explain what you need at a foreign store (ever tried to act out a mouse trap purchase? I have!). Lost in translation? Oh, the irony of my life!
Here’s the ying and yang of being an expat:
- Hearing someone with your accent immediately leads you to assume that you’ll be the best of friends who are alike in every way; whereas back home you only get along with .0001% of the people that sound like you (you celebrate July 4th?! ME TOO! It’s like we’re twins).
- Exposure to eastern medicine that isn’t accepted in your western home country; that sinking fear that going to the doctor will result in your kidney being sold on the black market (I feel 5lbs lighter!…but not in a good way).