There are two places in the world that most expats live: in a Bubble or in Reality.
It can be wonderful to live in a bubble. In a bubble, everything counts on your perception, rather than the reality.
This can be good or bad, depending on your imagination. You can imagine your boss likes you. You can imagine your neighbor loves your new wind chime. You can imagine you're fluent in German.
But at some point, if you stay in a foreign country long enough, your bubble will break.
Often, this happens when you learn the language, know the customs, befriend a local, or have to visit the unemployment office.
My bubble broke last year. And then I realized. This is my real life. And three years had gone by since I noticed I was living it.
Now when my neighbor says, “Baden used to be a nice town but now it’s trashy, dangerous, and filled with foreigners,” I no longer smile and nod.
Reality is hard that way.
Even though I moved to Switzerland four years ago, today I’m really living here.
Where do you live? In a bubble? In reality? Which do you prefer?
Next week on Writer Abroad: expat author extraordinaire, Stephen Clarke, talks about the vast conspiracy that is the publishing industry and how to crack it. Hint: put your books in a shopping cart and push them around Paris.