Yes… Goodbye… It should be now only a formality. In a few weeks I should receive a new passport and, with it, a new citizenship. I had to give up the old one.
I lived for more than fifteen years abroad. Soon, I will have lived longer as an expat than as a citizen in my own country. At the embassy, bringing documents, signing papers and paying money, I felt like having an exam again. Restless, uneasy, worried I might have forgotten something, worried I would be rejected. I spent the night before thinking what will this mean to me and what will this mean to the others I left behind. Theoretically, it does not bring much change. The feeling of being uprooted is something I always carried with me. It became even stronger in the last few years, living in a country whose language does not match my own being in the world, while slowly forgetting my mother tongue and getting even further away from English. I knew, though, that I could always go back… back home and everything could be OK again. Now, this link has been severed. There is nowhere I could go back. I would be a foreigner there too, in that dusty little village, on the streets of the city where I studied, in the pubs where I met with my friends.
“Batman!… Batman mit einer Decke!”, shouts my toddler son waving around a Batman action figure not yet knowing the word for cape. For him, Batman, the hero from movies he never saw, saves the world and, for some strange reason, also has a blanket tied around his neck. B gives him a kiss and smiles at him. They are my refuge.
I left that country because everything was not OK. I wanted change and now I got a plateful of it. “Deal with it!”, I can only tell myself. “Deal with it!”