(Note: Go to manboobz to read David Futrelle's analysis and some really funny commentary.)
Ah, but when you are there, this American life is a million miles away, and far, far from your thoughts. When you are there and on the streets, those unfamiliar streets in that strange world and culture, you live more in 5 minutes than you do here in one day. It starts at the jetway when you arrive, it builds when you see the foreign immigrations officers and it smacks you in the face when you step outside the front door or the airport. All airports are the same, little pieces of America, no matter where you are in the world. But that ends at the front door.And when you go alone, when you have very little to anchor you, when you get into that taxi and ride through the city, when you end up in some strange room, and you drop your luggage, and then in the following days as you find your way, find yourself, then all you were, and all that was, is so so far away. And it can ruin you forever. I have been back 3 years and I do not seek to engage America in any way. I stay home, on the internet. I shop in the middle of the night for food. When I must be out in the day, I move quickly, efficiently. I interact little with this society that I am no longer a part of. Some of that is age but a lot of is that I have killed my American self and I feel no affection for it, no loyalty to it, and I shall discard it forever, soon. The only connection is feel to it is you, you band of renegade rebels to whom I feel a kindred spirit.Listen closely to expats. Perhaps it is a self limiting situation. I would assume no lover of America, no person that celebrates it as a place, is an expat. So on one hand, they are a group disposed to dissent. They may have issues over the laws, the bureaucracy of the new place they now live, but rarely do they ever ever long for America.