The pleasure of being “homeless”

Hello again my dear reader,

one of the best (and worst) things about being Greek, at present, is that however much you may desire to return home, it’s plainly impossible due to the financial situation back home. In effect, that makes me sort of “homeless” and gives me the freedom to choose where to live and work without the additional constraint of having to belong. In addition, having a Czech wife and having lived in the Czech Republic for over a year, I have a pretty clear understanding that I don’t want to live there long-term. My wife and I don’t really fit in culturally and this is probably due to us having lived away from our respective countries for extended periods of time.

In effect, these facts make us a weird king of expat couple. The definition of expat from Webster’s dictionary is:

a person who lives in a foreign country

But, this has the hidden meaning of temporary misplacement. It means that you’re living in a foreign country and have a country of your own to return to. Granted, Greece hasn’t disappeared off the map or anything. Otherwise, my holiday there in autumn this year would be a waste of time and money. But, with me being in my early thirties, if I want to build something for myself and my family, I need to be gainfully employed. There is a huge risk that such gainful employment would be difficult to secure in Greece at the moment. So, for the next 5-10 years, this makes me an expat with no home country to return to.

In part, this thinking is what makes it easier for me to live in Bermuda. This is the sort of place where one never belongs. The immigration rules alone make it impossible to think of Bermuda in the long term.

But, is that such a bad thing? Well, I don’t think so. On the one hand, it would be nice to at least have the option of staying here long-term. But, on the other hand, if I can’t start my own thing (Bermuda laws forbid foreigners from opening a non-exempt business unless it’s majority owned by a Bermudian) then what future is there for me really? I’ve always wanted to start my own thing and I definitely won’t get that option here.

There is always a “safe” haven to return to if things go bad here: London. I know a lot of good people there, who trust me and would be able to help me get set up and find employment. I’m used to the British and all their quirks so I wouldn’t feel foreign. What is interesting though is what I don’t miss from London. The main thing is the commute. Also, the busy city with people running around at the speed of light. I can just imagine what my Friday last week would have been like: there was a wedding on, apparently a big one, people got the day off. I would probably take the opportunity to catch up on sleep from the long working days, much longer than in Bermuda. I would try to avoid the wedding celebrations but it would be impossible. All channels would be showing the same thing, over and over and over again ad nauseum. I would try to drive out of town to enjoy the spring weather, maybe go for a walk in the countryside. Even there, there would be wedding stuff going on, it would annoy me. I would return home vexed and there would re-runs of the wedding on and commentary on whether the dress was nice and how hot the bride’s sister looked. It would take the whole weekend to forget about the wedding and I would return to work Monday even more annoyed than when I left on Thursday. And yet, inexplicably, I occasionally miss the place. Not when I’m on the scooter driving to work and look over the side and the fabulous beaches, not when it takes me 20 mins to get to work and I don’t have to get on a stinky underground train like a packed sardine and definitely not when I look at the sky and it’s not always grey.

Anyway, enough rambling, more to come soon.

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