Was it all just a dream?

Was it all just a dream?

I know, I was missing.

But, I am here now.

Too bad this isn’t the season finale of some beloved 80s sit-com where we find out this last season was all the main character’s fever dream.

It wasn’t and it still isn’t.

So, what the heck happened?!

Well, you know, right?

Life.

Life is what happens and you lose track of everything because…

  • there is a reality TV star elected president of your home country.
  • your home country and the world were gaslit on the regular.
  • right became wrong and bad became good, but you’ve had to attempt to teach your child the opposite is still true.
  • people of color and their allies began protesting police brutality and the police and politicians all just seemed to double down on their convictions that the brutality was clearly always deserved.
  • the reality star president pardons his buddies, gives tax breaks to his rich ‘friends’.
  • a pandemic brings the world to its knees.
  • wildfires bring sections of the world further down.
  • billionaires are becoming trillionaires while average folks are increasingly becoming homeless, jobless, and hungry.
  • said pandemic is basically ignored by your home country’s government and 400,000+ people die.
  • you’ve got to homeschool your kid because of that pesky pandemic, but in another language than your first.
  • suddenly you’ve got to work from home while homeschooling
  • why does everyone need to eat ALL the time?! But they do, and apparently you’re the only one that can cook with food that isn’t frozen, canned, found in a box, or bought from a restaurant.
  • you have to attempt to remain sane and healthy during all of this madness – so at homework outs are a must, but where do you exercise, especially when the weather is bad?
  • you’ve got to make time for family.
  • you’ve got to make time for romance.
  • you shouldn’t forget about your friends in your home country or your adopted one.
  • hey, have you checked in on your blood relations for a while? You’re still expected to do some kin-keeping too.
  • your home country suffered from a pesky mild insurrection.
  • you’re an adult and this and much more is expected of you, even now.

Life.

And most of that was actually just in 2020 and doesn’t account for everything that has happened between 2016 and 2020.

Yet, at this point we’re all familiar with this, right? I don’t necessarily need to recap 2016-2019, do I?

Good, because I don’t want to.

As of January 21st the pandemic turned the big ONE in America.

This is our life now.

As I write this, our state in Rheinland-Pfalz is doing better. Our infection numbers have improved (gone down) and it looks like our children may return to in-person school. The rest of Europe is still struggling though.

This is our round two here, we should all know better by now, yet here we are.

Yes, here we are.

I mean, America hasn’t even finished their first round. It’s just been dragged out over the last year continuously beating and badgering its citizens because of continuous failed leadership and lies.

Its okay, fight me on that.

We can disagree, but know the world can see you and also disagrees with you.

I hope this year will be different.

I want this year to be different.

I know I have been missing and I am sorry.

I am currently working to brainstorm and plan out ideas for the year to write about, because see…I have a lot.

My goal is to produce less content, but make that content contain of higher quality, like when I started telling you why and how I was living the American dream in Europe in the first place.

Hopefully, I will post one story a month, because… life.

So, welcome to 2021.

America has a new administration. It is a new year. January is almost over. Spring is around the corner.

Why the heck not?!

I am back baby.

I’ll see you all soon.

November 11th

Geert Hofstede defines culture as ” the collective programming of the  mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another”, these categories can include one or more of the following: a nation, a region, ethnic group, gender group, generational group, social class, profession or occupational group, a type of business, work or organization group, or family. (Hofstede, 1994)

Culture is further classified into four different realms or elements: symbols, heroes, rituals and values. “Symbols are words, objects and gestures which derive their meaning from convention. […] Heroes are real or imaginary people, dead or alive, who serve as models for behaviour within a culture. […]Rituals are collective activities that are technically superfluous (unnecessary, redundant, unneeded) but, within a particular culture, social essential. […] Values represent the deepest level of a culture. They are broad feelings, often unconscious and not open to discussion, about what is good and what is bad, clean or dirty, beautiful or ugly, rational or irrational, normal or abnormal…These feelings are present in the majority of the members of the culture, or at least in those persons who occupy pivotal positions.” (Hofstede, 1994)

As Expats, we then have a choice to either adopt or ignore that which is not our first culture. To explore and adapt or disregard the second culture. If we as individuals, families, or other collective units determine that the various elements of culture are worthy of exploration and experience then, we, either as the singular or collective unit can create a third culture amalgamating our original, first culture with that second culture in which we live.

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How to move to Germany, part 3: The First Step…

The United States just had an election, in which the Republican nominee Donald Trump earned 279 electoral votes over the Democratic nominee, Hilary Clinton’s 228 electoral votes.  Continue reading

Wrapping up a no-spend month

I don’t know what I was thinking when I first decided that my family would do this. Perhaps I was simply thinking that we would save money and clean out the cupboards. Well, it turned out to be so much more than that!

First, I became a bit ill after the new year. This meant that for about a week I did not want to eat much or cook for that matter. Then, our projector fan died leaving us with no family television time. This latter point is not all bad. I think I’ve mentioned before that our home is like the ‘American Sector’ from Checkpoint  Charlie.

checkpoint_charlie_sign

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