Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Why would you want to live here?

It's all coming back to me.

This is the place where I have to pay for fruit. Where I have to go to seven ATMs before I can withdraw money. And where they have a crushing national complex.

I went to the doctor today (nothing serious; minor but painful fingernail thing). I waited about 15 minutes to be seen and then was seen by two doctors within an hour. Both could not have been nicer. Both asked me where I was from. And then both asked me: "Why are you living here? Everyone here wants to be living there."

It's probably the question I'm asked most as a foreigner.

I explained that I was a pioneering expat blogger and that my work compelled me to be here. OK. Fine. Not really. I may have tossed off something about being a freelance journalist. I left out the part about selling fruit, subtitling videos and writing bilingual catalog copy; after all, you have to know how to edit yourself.*

Whatever it is I do, I'm taking this week off from it. From a lot of it, anyway. I am doing some stuff. My biggest concession to work is thinking of story ideas. It's a lot easier to do when you're seeing the city with fresh eyes.

But mostly I am just trying to take it all in and enjoy being here. That is sort of the point, isn't it? After a little while, I'll probably get caught up in a tangle of projects, mini-odysseys and half-ass money-making schemes.

Right now, I'm just walking around and spending the money I don't make. Oh, and examining my belly-button lint on my blog.

* Blog implodes from irony in 3, 2, 1 . . .

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