Category: Culture / Lifestyle
When worlds seem so alike, we unfairly presume shared characteristics that are not really there. And that leaves us… not so much “foreign” … but a bit lonely. Like we have been let down or betrayed, even though the slight is imagined.
I am raising my dual-nationality children here because my wife is Norwegian and wanted to come back after years abroad. Norwegians, I notice, are much like salmon. They want adventure but, when the time comes, they inevitably return to their native waters to spawn.
My children attend the local barnehagen, or kindergarten, which is across from my apartment. I work from home and sometimes I can see them in the windows across the street and a floor below. It is very comforting. I know for a fact that my five-year-old does, indeed, wash his hands properly, even when I’m not standing behind him.
Before coming here, I lived in Geneva for more than a decade. Geneva reminded me of nothing. However well I came to know it – and I came to know it very well – it was, and remained, foreign. Switzerland never whispered a promise to adopt me like Norway does. When I left, we exchanged paperwork, not goodbyes.
Source: The Financial Times
Published: September 22, 2019