This post is also available in: Italian
Holidays as an expat, don’t mean, in the majority of cases, great choices in terms of locations. There is always a big doubt, regarding the final destination: sea, mountain, artistic cities, total relax, adventure, nature. But at the end, the only thought to go somewhere else, instead of there, pricks the conscience so badly, that it’s impossible to make an impartial choice. Holidays as an expat, mean definitely one thing: going back home.
How could you deal with your mother, if you decide to spend your time in another country the only weeks of the year you can actually be with her? Your poor, sweet mamma. Just, forget it. You won’t ever want to disappoint her, your dad, your uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents, doggies, kittens and the whole neighborhood. While packing your luggage, you will promise yourself, “this year is the last time I’m going home for the summer”, you wish you could do something new, but you perfectly know you’re lying to yourself. This thought just gives you a temporary relief.
Once you arrive home, after months spent abroad, you’ll feel a lot of emotions: from surprise, sense of inadequacy, melancholy in seeing what you left behind you to pure joy and happiness. You need your time to go deeply into your roots again. But the time is never enough. Because you’ve lived the biggest part of your life there, and now you are away, everybody will treat you as if that will be the last time you stay there. Everybody will try to arrange a coffee with you, even if you didn’t see each other since primary school. You are like an hero, the brave hard worker that move to Germany to follow a dream. Who wouldn’t be delighted with all this attention? You just can’t say no. It’s not contemplated. Once you’ve satisfied all the bizarre requests, it’s time to fly back.
Catch up on lost time.
After all, going back home is not so dramatic. It’s like a throwback where the time stopped, where everything seems to be eternal, preserved for your memories. In a way it can also be romantic. Waking up, going to the kitchen, seeing what your mom prepared for your breakfast. You walk in a dream, finally rested after a long non-stop period in the office. You glimpse an empty table. It can’t be. No cakes, no handmade cookies, not a coffee nor a tea, nothing. Dirty cups instead, crumbs everywhere, and a note signed “Mamma”. The idyllic moment is over. Time to go back to reality:
- Good morning love, would you mind to bring your aunt to the doctor? She’s not in a good shape today, I’m worried.
- Coming back home, could you please go to the bakery? We need bread for lunch.
- Here is a bill we definitely have to pay within three days.
- I leave you 5 euro, so you can buy something for your breakfast. Love you, Mom.
Sometimes I have the feeling I have to “pay” the overdue amount of time I didn’t spend at home. It’s normal, I know. And I’m happy to be able to help my family. Although, sometimes I just would like to be transparent, but this is another story.
There are wrong answers.
Sometimes you forget you are at home where everybody can perfectly understand what you are saying. Because in Germany you can express your thoughts in your mother tongue out loud, even if they are not the nicest ones, it doesn’t mean you can do the same at home. How do you know you forgot and slipped?… When your friends blanch while you are talking, just stop. You are probably saying something wrong.
So many things happened during my stay in Italy. Now that the holidays are over, I can go back to my duties in my parallel Berliner life. But let me first recover from the vacations, please, I need a break!