Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The present is a foreign country


No-one can ever understand a foreign country.

After 17 years I know I have learnt that I know almost nothing about Romania, but I effortlessly understand so very much that very intelligent foreigners never can about my own country - as it was 25 years ago.

As we grow older we all live in foreign countries. Increasingly this is true literally as well as figuratively and I am an example.

One of the advantages of being a foreigner is not fitting in and not understanding. None of us feel we fit in or understand - that is the human condition - but foreigners are not meant to fit in or understand and this is a great liberation.

And increasingly the developed countries are becoming settled by more and more foreigners. In some ways this makes them more interesting for xenophiles like me, but many people who didn't want to live in a foreign country find themselves doing so without leaving home.

1 comment:

  1. So true! Are you including these reflections in a book?
    I am Romanian leaving in a foreign country, that has eluded me for a while, as expected, but that has fascinated me and which I tried to fit in. Just as I thought I got to understand and fit in, I realized that this foreign country has shifted towards something resembling what Romania used to be 30 years ago, yet something quite different.
    Ultimately, I came to understand the idea that we are all travelers on this planet, and that, as you say the present is a foreign country no matter where you live. Excellent headline!!