Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the hard part

I always hate the last night of a visit home to Austin. (It would suck regardless because of the packing, of course.)

Don't get me wrong, I have a good life in Norway. A beautiful apartment, a great job, great friends and a husband who loves me (though he is mad at me right now about his perception of my spending while here, but I've been saving all my mad shopping for a YEAR, not to mention not having had a haircut in a year, a visit to the dentist in three, etc etc. Expats, you understand, the shopping when you go home, right? Hes just freaked at seeing the number all at once instead of dribbled in spits and spats.).

But coming home to Austin, it's, well, it's...home. It just IS. I feel comfortable. The freak factor is right where I like it. (There's a dude who rides his bike around Austin and he wears nothing but a thong. Everyone calls him Thong Guy, but nobody knows who he is. Walking around Town Lake I saw a girl wearing a t shirt that said "I heart moustache rides" and she was walking with a guy with a very large handlebar moustache. I just LOVE that sort of thing that happens here in Austin.) The grocery stores have a salsa and tortilla chip aisle, and the beer selection is huge and cheap. I can sit outside in November in a t shirt and feel perfectly comfortable. I can have BREAKFAST TACOS any time I want. People say hi just because you look at them, and everyone holds door for everybody else and men flirt with you and treat you like a lady. I can sit on my friend Julia's deck with a beer in hand and shoot the shit with someone I have known for 37 of my 42 years. These are things I do not take lightly. These are things that are a part of what makes me who I am, that make me whole.

So I am always a bit sad when I leave. The last night I usually keep to myself, take myself out to dinner (tonight was Chinese at an old favorite restaurant, Suzi's), watch tv and pack my stuff up, trying to wedge the cans of salsa verde in to the toe of the new boots, and to not crush the amazing red dress I bought while also fitting in the bulk spices I bought into the nooks and crannies among all the other stuff in the suitcase(s).

Sigh. Well, I still have another week in the US to go, I'll have Thanksgiving with my parents in Missouri and time to hang out and come down from my visit to Austin. I do that on purpose, this schedule. Austin first, then the parents, then back to Norway*. A three step process, three different lives and realities to live and experience.

*Note: I know full well that when I do move back to Texas, I will bemoan what I miss in Norway. I now have a foot in both places, straddling the Atlantic, and will be torn no matter where I live from now on.


  1. Safe travels. :-)

  2. Karla May10:26 PM

    You just made me cry a bit. Bitch.

  3. As a technical Norwegian with an American soul who hates Norway and spends every cent I have on going to the US, I can't fathom why you would put up with having to be an expat. But I guess it is different when it is sort of voluntary, and not indefinite. :) Also, I'm glad we are both escaping the -15 C or wtf in Oslo right now. I mean, seriously?!


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