3) I don't get lost in Chicago, LA, Boston, NYC, Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, Beirut

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.

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