We hear Emilia crying in the night and we wake up to a troubled lot this morning. Commotion in the garden, concerned voices. We see a strange woman by the servants’ quarters, her head covered with a scarf of market cloth in a way that is not familiar to me. She’s African, but not from around here.
As foreigners in alien lands we often come across cultural customs, habits and behaviors that baffle us, charm us, annoy us, or creep us out altogether. Generally we like to adjust and participate, be good sports, and feel enriched for the experience. Expat children have to make cultural adjustments too, of course.
Expat life can be boring at times. You live in an exotic country in Africa or maybe Asia where they’ve got scrumptious food, interesting customs and fabulous festivals, and what do you do? You wake up in the morning and you eat your cornflakes, you go shopping for light bulbs, you go to the gym. Really, how exotic is that?