(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

let the countdown begin.

hello dear readers. not sure how many of you regulars even remain ... no one to blame but myself for that! but I am on the downside of my stay in america and sooner than later will be reunited with my home, my life, my computer!

funny enough, I have gained about a dozen new followers while here ... with less writing than ever! hmmmm!

while here I have not had a working computer of my own and have relied upon a borrowed smartphone for online access, with the occasional borrowed moments at a laptop (such as now!). writing on a smartphone is best left to the occasional Facebook blurb or texting...at least for a non-teen like me.

but now, I am beyond excited to begin counting the days until I am home again. and looking forward to writing more. I would like to say writing more regularly, but I am loathe to put that out there and then let myself down.

so much has happened in the 3 months I've been in america (shudder). let's see... earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, revolutionary activity in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, more war in Libya and the Ivory coast... tea party takeovers, union dismantling, niqab ban in France, huge fire in Brantôme forests...I will probably add to this list as more appears to my feeble brain. all of it viewed from the tiny scope of an iphone screen and the welcome reportage of National Public Radio.

this stay has indeed reinforced the wisdom of my decision to move abroad. there is a sad and sickly malaise which has enveloped the country ... it is hard to describe but I would say something like a nation of people who have given up, but sadly have nowhere else to go... I fear that things are going to get quite a bit worse before the possibility of better, at least for the definition of better that me and my friends would provide.

for me, my values have veered so far beyond what america now represents that I am a bit unwelcome, even amongst my friends! I fear I'm considered a bit of weirdo, ranting about what seems so utterly wrong here. After the first few weeks I had to resolve to just shut my mouth. even my dearest lefty friends are defensive about the state of affairs and after a lot of reflection, I did indeed reach the conclusion that it is because who wants to be told how fucked up your situation is ... when you can't change your situation?

this whole tea party shift is something to see. it appears to me that the manipulation of these masses has been perfected to an art. miraculously this group has organized themselves (rich puppetmasters' funding of course has been wonderfully helpful) while the majority of poor, working and middle class individuals continue to slumber. there were some hopeful signs in Wisconsin, but the cynic in me doubts this will catch fire. I'm not sure how far the beat-down will have to go before the potential sleeping giant is prodded enough to fight back. if they even can be bothered. le sigh.

meanwhile, the corporate propaganda machine is hard at work, telling the nation (during commercials between the hundreds of reality shows like Extreme Couponing and "insert D-Celebrity Has Been Name Here" Family Fame Game) how wonderful their lives are because of XYZ Corporation's efforts. For example, Kaiser Healthcare who is helping YOU Thrive (while reaping their profits finding ways to deny your claim) or CHASE Bank, CHASE What Matters (your house through foreclosure, a prime example of what they have perfected) or GE bringing good things to light (such as their $14Billion in 2010 profits with ZERO Federal Tax paid) It would be laughable if not so tragic. And thousands and thousands of sheeple have been organized to defend to the virtual death this dysfunctional american way.

can you see why my dinner invitations dried up rather quickly?!

during all of it, my focus has been to work. there have been but a handful of days that I haven't had a project or some small job to focus on. I have sanded and repainted countless pieces of furniture, cared for numerous little people, delivered catering services, provided leasing services, helped to landscape, and provided business consulting services (déja vu). doing anything and everything to help preserve my simple little life.

I have benefited from the generosity of family and friends, and met and made several new acquaintances in the process. In fact, I even met new family members (it was always rumored my father had other offspring ... well I met a half-brother and his wife and little son ... a very nice evening was had).

I have also prepared for the coming new season for The Bohemians and I will be returning to work equally hard for a third successful year. Numerous unfinished projects await my care and attention... furniture painting, store revamping, preparation of an added furniture showroom, introduction of new artists, planting of my potager, reopening of my little abode who has enjoyed a long winter nap...

for now, I am trying to stay focused ... get it all together, finish up a long list of last minute activities ... and maintain my optimism and sense of humor.

à bientôt, mes loulous!!! xx


Michelle said...

Well, I am still here. But, I had to check that my 'ID' was still here so I could say hello. It has been so long since I have read blogs. Yours, and two others (just happen to be pals of yours) are the only ones I really check in on these days (when I check in at all). As always I follow the snippets of other lives and live the dream vicariously. However, living my own life and appreciating the joys in each day mean that things must be put into perspective, and obsessing about running away must be put on hold.

It sounds as though you've had an interesting, enlightening and somewhat challenging couple of months. I am hopeful that all your hard work has set the framework for a wonderful productive and fulfilling season in your village.

Amy said...

Hi Kim, was just wondering when you'd be heading back to Brantome - just in time for some gorgeous spring weather. Hope to see you before long (we won't talk about our plan to move "back there"!).

Will said...

I enjoy your writing. I can see your dissatisfaction with life in the States. However, you have the advantage of being able to move back and forth between situations, which many people do not. For a lot of us, leaving is not an option(though it is for me). While I find your conclusions pretty valid and I agree with a lot of what you say, it sounds like you've been shouting them from the rooftops with the zealotry of a convert. People anywhere don't like to be lectured about how screwed up their countries are, even if they agree. It's not so screwed up here that you didn't come back to take advantage of your status to make money to send and spend elsewhere. That could be a small part of the reticence that you find in peoples response to your observations. Please keep writing. Your persistence and successes are inspirational.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

will, you are so spot on. I have had to try and self-edit dramatically as I am not blind to the reaction I have helped create. Funny, before I left I was a bit of a ranter as well ... but from the being stuck perspective. I wish that the energies of those for whom leaving is not an option (or desire)...but share my perspective could somehow be ignited! this is something I have never understood and also ultimately helped me decide to go. When I lived in the states, I actively sought ways to be involved. There is such an inertia on the part of Americans, it is frightening really. and frustrating. I spent over 40 years in America, loved it and then have watched its slow demise. while so many are sleeping through it !!! ack!!

Also, while I appreciate your perspective on my status ... I don't think that as long as I do have citizenship and contacts I worked hard to create, I shouldn't use them. The small amount of money I am making more than offsets the losses I have experienced due to all sorts of administrative mismanagement of the sort seen in the US. maybe that is viewed as hypocritical ... but I can live with it.

After recent reviews, I have found my writing more and more shrill and focused on perceived shortcomings of the US and impact to my life. I am much dissatisfied by this turn of events, and returning inspired to get past this bumpy financial bullshit I have faced in the last year ... and back to the writing I found so rewarding and fun. So thanks for the scolding (well deserved) and the encouragement ... and stay tuned as I try to get back on track!

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

I should add that i still vote and pay taxes, so kind of think i retain some rights in that regard! :-)

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

Gosh there is so much more i want to say on this topic...like my years of frustration working local and nat'l campaigns..voting...fellow liberals lost in apathy, the missing power of youth. If you had a friend turned the wrong way on a one way street, you would rant and and scream when u saw the headlights coming, right?

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will said...

Thank you for your very kind reply. You make valid points. You pay taxes, you're resourceful and right to use the advantages given you such as returning to the states for a period. Doubtless I will at some point do the same.

I was in France when the whole 2000 election debacle happened. I remember getting lectured about US democracy and how France was REALLY a democracy and so on. It was a little tough to hear which was why I mentioned it. This was, of course before LePen won the first round in the presidentielle a few years later.... Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

SE said...

Oh... you have no idea how relieved I am to read this blog post. I was beginning to feel I was the only one thinking how unbelievably insane American culture has gotten. And I live in a "liberal" area- only I've noticed a similarity between the liberals in Seattle and puritans. (What is wrong with them? The weather?)

Thanks for a lifeline!