by Bernie Brown
Like a bird looking for a perch, Carol scanned the bus for a seat. Some of the faces she recognized from a welcome tea at The American Women’s Club of The Hague, but most of the names jumbled together. For a brief panicked moment, she wished she had stayed home, not just in their apartment here in The Hague, but all the way home back in the States where she could have continued her work on the Dukakis campaign.
by Victoria Hess
This story is about tampons.
You still there?
Really, it is about tampons and toilet paper, and me being a “virgin expat” moving to my first foreign country. My husband’s employer thought little enough of the local economy that it paid for us to ship a massive amount of consumables, so we wouldn’t run out of things that we needed during our two-year tour. I was 30 and newly wed, and I was supposed to figure out how much toilet paper, tampons, soap, sugar, oil, cereal, and other critical items we would use while we lived in a war-ravaged country at the ends of the Earth.
Iraq. 1988. Between the wars.
by Nicolas Ridley
Mid-evening in a neighbourhood bistro in the sixième. Elizabeth has been listening to me politely but she is puzzled. Although — en principe — she is a firm anglophile, changing her name from ‘Elisabeth’ to ‘Elizabeth’ at an early age, she sometimes finds the English themselves a little odd. The purpose of my present journey, for example, mystifies her completely.