Some days, I think I could live here for a while. I mean, longer than the 20 weeks that I’m here. Days when I walk home from school in the fading sunlight at 7:30 while the streets grow quiet and the sun goes down and the man with the wrought iron balcony that hangs over the sidewalk waters his flowers, and I have to be careful to not get dripped on as I walk under his flower pots.
It’s just after I’ve eaten pizza with a friend on the sidewalk after class. It’s a beautiful, nearly-summer evening where I drop by my friend’s apartment to have some tea and chat for a bit. Then I go home, tired after a day of learning (after three weeks of vacation) and socializing. I eat chocolate, watch Parenthood, FaceTime with my mom, and go to bed.
Some days, Graz could be my home. The detailed architecture could decorate my walk to work. I could waltz down Sporgasse and get tripped up on the cobblestones over and over again. I could get my hair cut at the salon on the corner (after I learn a sufficient amount of German to tell them to be careful with the curls… I’m a little bit overprotective of my hair). I could meet my friends for dinner at the gasthaus. I could be a regular at Hofer (and would bring cash so they can’t deny me my groceries).
I could be a frequent Skyper. Some days I have two or three Skype conversations and think, yeah, this could be my life.
I could do that, some days.
Then there are the days where I miss the American perspective. I’m not even sure what that means, but it’s different. It’s just homey. Not better, not worse, but mine.
There are days where I wish I didn’t stick out as the “American” in my classes. There are days when I wish it was easy to communicate all the time, not just with my friend who are fluent in English or are native speakers. There are days when my family and friends feel so far, days when I don’t talk to any of them, when they’re asleep when I’m awake and no one seems to know how far away I am. There are days when I just want to have a job, to have work. Strange that I miss that.
There are days when I miss my car, when I wish I could fill her up with petrol and cruise down the highway or give her a bath in the driveway.
There are days when I think I couldn’t go longer than the four and a half months that I’ll be here. How do ex-pats do it?
The good thing is that this is where I am now, for 20 weeks, which I can handle. And I suppose only God knows where I’ll end up in the next few years. And that’s the person to know.