I don't get lost.
Not in Chicago, LosAngeles, Boston, SanFrancisco, or NewYork. All cities I navigated by car during my lengthy stays there.
Abroad, the streets of Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, Istanbul, Edinburgh, and Beirut quickly became familiar to me and I navigated them without a problem.
Yet here, in my hometown, I get lost on a road that basically dead-ends into LakeMichigan, at the beach.
How had I lost my way, lost my feeling of empowerment that had carried me through twelve years of expat life?
Why did I never feel this helpless in a country where I look foreign, speak with a heavy accent, and no matter where I go, am singled out as different?
Yet I feel like I belong in Turkey.
In my hometown, where everyone looks like me and has my accent, I am lost. A foreigner on my native soil. Landmarks and sense of place challenged at every turn.
For two hours I wandered the Michigan countryside aimlessly. I stopped for directions. I passed the same store twenty times.
I finally parked the car, slammed my head into the steering wheel, and cried in frustration, my son wailing in commiseration from his carseat.