Thursday, July 19, 2007

howlee nugget

A friend who put in about 10 years as an expatriate once shared with me that 3 "M"s can be used to describe the personalities of those who choose that lifestyle. He spelled them out -

Missionary: you do it because your heart's in the cause, because you truly believe in it.

Mercenary: the money's great, so you make a killing plus stipend in some foreign place.

Misfit: you are an outcast at home anyway, so a remote spot is just as good.

Another friend who I have mentioned before, JT, recently took a job in Hilo, Hawaii. "Howlee" bombs will be thrown at the new CEO of the local mental facility in Hilo. Apparently that's a racial slur thrown at Caucasians from the continental states there. It doesn't phase him.

He 's leaving Mansfield, OH -- a town where you might stop to get gas on a road trip, and never look back as you jump back onto the I-70 entrance ramp. His flight is tomorrow morning. On the eve of his departure I find myself wondering which of these "m"s applies to him. Maybe he's 33.3% of each.

Bon voyage, my howlee friend! Please stay in touch early and often so that we can talk shit on people.


Tom said...

I wonder if Hawaiians have ever seen a howlee with a ridge that big before... surely JT will get some respect for bringing a new destination to the island for cliff divers :<

WingfieldsInBrussels said...

I totally agree with the misfit idea. I am an expat myself and I see that other expats fall into three categories:
--they came here kicking and screaming and refuse to enjoy any aspect of life here.
--they like it here, but like home too so they enjoy their experience but will enjoy home also.
--they didn't fit in in America so they love living abroad because people from other countries don't know what social mores to compare them to so they live abroad the rest of their lives.