Visiting Friends

One of the things all expats love and dread is the visiting friend. “Oh, you’re in Buenos Aires? How lovely! I’ll stop by. I only have a few days but we can go see all the sights together!” There is that delicate balance because living abroad means that you haven’t seen these guys for awhile and you aren’t going to see them again for awhile.

It’s great to see them but I get the same feeling as when I’m at a tourist site. It’s like I feel obligated to “do” things. Like there’s something I ought to be doing. This is, of course, all in my head. The friends actually don’t really care at all. Much like families at Christmas, expats tend to imagine the “ideal” visit to Buenos Aires and prepare it all for their friends.

For me there’s historically been a crazy: my world here is different than back home. I feel a bit schitzophrenic because they think I’ve changed but I haven’t. It’s more like I just have a different life because stuff here is different from home.

You realize all these crazy things about yourself, about your friends, about your life and about the city. It’s a crazy litmus test. It’s essentially travelling without travelling.

It’s pretty amazing to be able to invite another world to sleep on your couch.

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