Am I an expat?

Roof

Something is happening.

Look, I’m not an expat. Ok, well in a sense I am because I was born in Baku but immigrated to the United States at five. But I didn’t know what was happening or where I was on a map. All I knew then was that while it’s light in Baku, its dark in this other world, in America. My grandmother explained this to me before we left with a piece of toast. Half was butter signifying daytime in Baku, and half was Nutella, signifying nighttime in America. And on the last day before our Green Card expired, we left for the US. My mom left her pretty scarves because there was no room in the suitcase and my brother lost his toy on the airplane.

As a child growing up in California, I would fight being bilingual. Why could my friends do things that I couldn’t? What was baseball? I saw my first game in the latter part of high school. Then, college? How do you apply? My parents were learning with me for most of the time, and frankly they still are, as am I. It takes a certain person to be able and willing to leave a country (with toddlers) and move to another one where you don’t speak the language and where you don’t have a job.

So, what’s happening to me now?

Now, I want to leave again. After studying in France, all I want to do is go back, see more, live more, and learn the language. So there, I’m not an expat. I’m just curious. Maybe I’m silly. Maybe I’m a dreamer. Maybe I’m all these things. But I know I’m not pure Russian, or pure Azeri, or pure American. And I know I will never be a pure Frenchie either.

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One comment

  1. Sonika · August 21, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I can relate as my parents too immigrated to the States. Moreover, the line “all I want to do is go back, see more, live more, and learn the language,” resonates deeply with my soul. I just want to go somewhere, anywhere, stop there for a while and find my myself in that place. I want become one with a new place, I want to make it familiar. The world excites me too much. Thanks so much for sharing.

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