20 April 2009

On Moving Overseas

There's a family on a homeschooling board I frequent who's moving to Malaysia soon. It's been lots of fun to read about all her ups and downs as they're getting ready to go because they remind me of so many things we've gone through (and hope to go through again soon).

Today she wrote about some stupid things a relative said about Malaysia and her family's decision to move there, and that reminded me of a lot of the not-so-nice things people have said to us when they hear where we're moving next, or that we like living in Muslim countries, or that we're actively trying to return to Central Asia (and that it's a we thing, not a he thing). I realized I've gotten a lot better at politely disagreeing with people and then moving onto a topic they're more familiar with, instead of getting annoyed, because usually the person who made the comment doesn't really care or know about the place we're going. They're just making conversation.

I don't always manage it though. But I can usually manage to wait till I'm alone with my husband to tell him what I would have liked to say.


  1. Us Americans, we's so stupid. Sometimes, anyway. I'd love to live overseas, though I'm more European in my sensibilities than Central Asian, and think it's neat that you are trying to get back there.

  2. I don't think we're so stupid, not really. There are some stupid people out there, but they don't seem to be limited to being American. :)

  3. Amira,

    I really have enjoyed your blog these past few months and I love the photo at the top. I got to your blog after reading a book by Vikram Seth. When I googled his book, I read your review, and have continued to check in.

    The kind of comments you mention on this post come up in other ways, too. For example, when I planned a trip to India four years ago, I was surprised by the people who tried to discourage me. I later read a writer's comment that if polling Americans about visiting India and using a 1-10 scale, India would not be a five for most Americans. It would either be a 1 or 2 0not wanting to visit), or a 9 or 10--a must-see. I definitely found that reaction from friends, colleagues,and family!

    On a different note, I just saw a wonderful film and I can't help but be curious about your reaction.
    It's the Kazakh film "Tulpan" which opened in NYC a few weeks ago. Will it come to where you are? It's the first narrative film by a Kazakh documentarian and it's filmed in the Hungersteppe. The place was definitely like a character in the film. For me, it was a look into a very different lifestyle and location. I also loved hearing the folk songs sung a capella by mother and daughter. Hope you get to see it.

    all best wishes,

  4. Thanks, Nuala.

    I haven't seen Tulpan yet, although I'd like to, and I should, since it's in my city. But to be honest, I doubt I'll get there. Between getting there, and finding someone to take care of the boys, and the cost when we're on student loans, will probably combine to keep me from going. I've heard lots of good things about the movie and I hope I can see it sometime.