by Regina Landor
The longest I had with a good friend in our current posting was nine months. That was long enough to feel comfortable going up to her apartment when I got mad at my husband. It was long enough for her to tell me she was pregnant before she told any other friends. It was long enough to be able to share a private joke in the company of others, just the two of us laughing.
by Mary Al-Akhdar
Just before we moved away from the U.S. to be expats for the first time, I stood on my front porch and observed the homes across the expanse of my rolling neighborhood. Brick fortresses, each with its front door closed tightly.
The years at home raising children, the many moves from one city to another, and all the feelings of isolation that go along with that, I never felt as an expat in Switzerland.
by Wendy Jones Nakanishi
I feel I know Japan and the Japanese well. I am the
beneficiary of circumstances that have made that knowledge possible. I have
lived here for over thirty years: not in some anonymous city but in a rural
area where local families trace back their history for centuries, and customs
have remained largely unchanged in the space of living memory. I am married to
a Japanese farmer and have three biracial sons, and we inhabit a neighborhood
that is like an extended enclave of my husband’s family.