I like the word “ontheemd”, and unfortunately there is no English word that has quite the same meaning. It took me exactly 2 years and 2 months to realize that I am “ontheemd”, or lets say uprooted.
I had always expected that at some point of the day, the week, or even the year, I would feel homesick and I would long to go back to my country. But up to now that moment has not come. Not a second, not a day, not at all. Of course I miss my family and friends, but not a second I thought I would want to move back to the country where I spend most of my life. On the contrary, every time I go on a trip ‘home’, however much fun I had with my family and friends, I am happy that I moved out and I am happy to go back to my new home country. And I wonder if I will ever be able to move back…
In Belgium, the Stella (beer) slogan is “My home is where my Stella is”. Stella is actually a very popular beer here. Which I don’t drink. But a home is where your beloved are, where you can be happy, where you can be yourself. Where you don’t need to be stressed for just any thing in daily live. There are lots of reasons why one country is better then another. It is not economy, it is not the expenses, it is not tradition. It is not the speed of the internet or the speed new movies come out. It is not the last model of certain car or the size of a house. It is what one expects from life and the personality one has that decides which country is best for him. And there is a big difference in say Latino’s and Northern Europeans.
I must have some Latin genes in me, although my parents assure me I don’t. I love the laid back way of living. You don’t have to be deadly stressed if you arrive 5 minutes late. You don’t have to eat at strict hours, go out when every one wants you to go out. You can invite friends out on the last minute. You can also cancel them last minute if something came up. You don’t get killed when you forget something. People aren’t constantly watching you to check if you are doing everything right. True, Argentines tend to complain a lot about how messed up their country and their government is, but it is like discussing the weather. A part of the daily conversation that always ends in a ‘es lo sue hay’ (what can we do about it). Argentines enjoy life more, although their lives aren’t half as easy as Belgian’s life. They live, no matter what.
So why did I just now realize that I must be uprooted? How do I know that my ‘home country’ isn’t really my ‘home country’ anymore? Well just this week is the book fair in Antwerp. A fair that I haven’t missed since the day I could walk. The most important event of the year. I would change holiday dates to be able to go. I would put the world upside down so I could go. This is the 3th year that I miss it. My friends and family called me : “Hey! You are missing out on the book fair!”, and that is when I realized it. I really couldn’t care less…
NB photo : no, being stuck in traffic doesn’t freak me out anymore 🙂
6 responses to “Ontheemd (uprooted)”
I guess we argentines have some joie de vivre in us, still after everything we’ve been through as a society (or maybe we just suffer from collective Alzheimer’s…or wait, maybe both! haha).
Still, nice blog!
Alzheimer! That’s a good one! A nice kind of Alzheimer anyway!
Thanks for your comment!
Nice blog Kati. Makes me a bit jealous of your life.
I heard my Bolivian son was coming over one of these days.
He enjoyed the visit
Thnx thierry! Komt Thomas ons bezoeken? Dat Zou cool zijn! Groetjes!!
Ik ken de details niet maar ik heb begrepen dat hij dat van plan is. Voor het ogenblik hebben we weinig contact door het feit dat hij helemaal Boliviano is geworden.
Ok super! We zullen hem wel zien verschijnen hier! Ik zal mijne zoon eens interpelleren.