The Original Expat Brat

“When I was in therapy about two years ago, one day I noticed that I hadn’t had any children. And I like children at a distance. I wondered if I’d like them up close. I wondered why I didn’t have any. I wondered if it was a mistake, or if I’d done it on purpose, or what. And I noticed my therapist didn’t have any children either. He had pictures of his cats on the wall. Framed.” Spalding Gray

There are not a lot of references to LuLu’s Big Daughter.  Mainly because she now lives a happy and productive adult life in (the witness protection program) Australia, and I haven’t asked her if she minds being fodder for my blogging. OK, OK… so maybe it is because she said something like, “Mum, if I EVER read about myself on your blog, I am cutting off your allowance and you are grounded for a month!” …or words to that effect… I never listen to threats… nah, nah..

But…Someone reminded me about some of her early episodes as an expat brat, and I figure that she won’t REALLY mind if I relate a couple of them.  As the original Expat LuLu babe, she went first.  Big Daughter was all of 20 months old when we got on the “Let’s get outta here train.”  Raising her was often more than any normal parent should have to deal with, let alone, doing it in crazy, new countries where you can’t drink the water.

*****

Floating around in a swimming pool.  The Island is Lombok (before it turned into a mad tourist infestation).  It is warm, soothingly warm.  The service is sublime.  The air is clean. I have a drink with an umbrella in it… and an orchid behind my right ear…

Says the American businessman to then Miss 7(older version):

“I have been listening to you for sometime, but I can’t pick your accent, young lady.  Just where DO you come from?”

I don’t open my eyes, but my ears prick up and I wait for her reply…only remembering to breath when I start feeling faint.

“Well…”  Miss 7(older version) was never shy.  Some would say she could talk the leg off a wooden chair.

“My mummy comes from Australia.  My daddy comes from Germany.  We live in Bombay, India….  but I think I might be Turkish.”

Mr American businessman looked confused… shook his head and swam away to try his luck at the pool bar.

I kept my eyes closed and decided that it was best to just remain silent.

She was obviously already confused enough without my weighing in.

Truly a child of the united nations.

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