We are known as the Americans in our neighborhood. We're rather an anomaly in Tokmok because we're foreign but we don't live in a remodeled apartment or in one of the complexes built by the Christian organizations. So we're the token Americans on this end of Tokmok.
I don't like many things that the US represents, but I like being an American. And there are some great things that the US represents that I do like. But even though the US is a comfortable and easy place for me to live, I prefer to live overseas.
But there are some things I really miss about the US. I love the western US and have lived most of my life there, but it wasn't till I read Wallace Stegner that I understood better how I really feel about it. I love the open spaces, the browns and yellows and golds, and especially the stories of the people who made the West home. All of my ancestors, and my husband's, have lived in the West for at least 150 years and it really is my home too. I think that Westernness that some of us have make us different sorts of Americans.
I don't feel as much a citizen of the US as I do a citizen of the world. I wish nationality were less important, if only because it contributes so much to dividing people economically. I can't believe that it's right for me to have so many opportunities simply because I was born within the boundaries of the US instead of the boundaries of the former Soviet Union (although, if I had been, it would be a lot easier to get those visas to Uzbekistan). I wish Americans were more interested in sharing what we have instead of worrying that we don't have enough.
I'm grateful to be an American and for the privileges it affords me, but there are so many other wonderful places in this world that grant some amazing privileges.