Thank you for taking the time to talk to me!
No problem, what is it you wish to ask?
Well, we've been wondering what you are up to, now that you've taken this foreign service officer test.
Oh, well I've been working on my dissertation. Now that I've broken through the writer's block I have been able to finish two chapters, rework three other chapters that didn't work into three chapters that DID work, and move into the home stretch.
Congratulations! What is the home stretch?
Ah, well, discovering that a chapter I *thought* was done was actually not at all done. But after that I then have to write a conclusion. I feel another writers block coming on... it's name is "conclusion."
Well, you'll get to it when you get to it I suppose. Tell me, what are you going to do after it's done?
I have no idea. I'd rather you not ask me that. I feel all kinds of panic when people ask me that.
Okay, if you insist...
Right, so moving on... I notice you complain a lot about life in Denmark? Do you really not like it here?
No, don't be silly. I do like it here. There are a lot of great things about Denmark. But I'd be lying to myself and others if I didn't admit that there were things that drove me crazy. If I lived in the States, I'd complain about things there too. No place is perfect.
Speaking of Denmark, recently you started looking at other expat blogs and exploring the expat world, but you've been living on and off in Denmark for five years now. Why the sudden interest?
Well, until I got residency, I didn't feel like an expat. I felt like a tourist or a transient visitor. You know, where the odd or difficult things that you face when you are on vacation abroad aren't that important because you'll be going "home" soon. But suddenly Denmark is "home" and there is nowhere else for me to go. Getting my residency suddenly made the experience much more real. I didn't even feel homesick until I got my residency letter. The sudden crushing homesickness that came upon me that day really tempered my excitement. I was desperate to find other people who might have felt the same thing.
Wow, that sounds really sad. How are you feeling now?
Plenty better. I've made some blogsphere friends which makes me feel more connected with my own experience, which sounds weird, but is the truth. And I've discovered that other expats are not a bunch of foreigners sitting around drinking heavily and wishing they were somewhere else, but a group of people who are working hard to fit in and adjust without loosing their identity.
Speaking of identity, who are you?
I am an archaeologist, a wife, a student, a cook, an expat, a foreigner, a woman, a frustrated foodie, a nerd, a feminist (in that I believe it is the right of every woman to decide what she wants to do with her life and if that means stay home and take care of the kids, then go ahead and do that), a liberal (although I am not sure what THAT means anymore, but I think it has something to do with universal health care), a bloger, a domestic goddess, a voter, an avid reader of anything in print, a human being.
That's quite a list.
Yeah, and I think that the older I get, the more labels I will have.
What labels would you like to see added in the next year?
That's a sneaky way of asking what I want to do after I finish my dissertation, isn't it?
You got me. But it's a bit more abstract, don't you think?
Yeah. Okay, I'd like to add: graduate, Doctor (not the medical kind so don't ask me about your weird rash), cat owner, [insert title of job here], and maybe even mother... but there's no rush for that last one.
I noticed that you have "domestic goddess" listed in your labels. How do you feel about that one... you seemed to flinch a bit at "domestic."
Yeah, I really don't like the term domestic. I'm not sure why. I think a bit of PTSD from that former marriage of mine. He used the term "domesticated" as if I was some sort of wild horse that had to be broken. I rebel against that image. It makes coming to terms with my domestic goddess skills rather difficult. I think that's why I like to add the term "goddess" to the domestic. I feel less like an indentured servant and a failure to my sex when I add goddess.
"Failure to your sex"? What the heck is that about?
My anger at the modern feminist movement that seems to push women to be everything all at once without the support of, heaven forfend, a man. Doesn't everyone need support of some kind? Is it so wrong to have support of someone who, through no fault of his own, is male? I feel this almost-guilt for getting married, wanting a child, cooking and cleaning, and not being completely career driven. I'd really like feminism to mean "the right of every woman to decide FOR HERSELF what she wants and the right of every woman to achieve that goal." Like I said above, that should include staying home with the kids, as long as that is what the woman wanted, or deciding to bypass children and go full-on career. Feminism should be like free speech, we need to support people in their rights even if we don't always agree with everything they're saying. I'm also supportive of men's rights, like the right to have time off after a new child enters your life. Equal rights. Freedom of choice. That's what I'm all about.
You are a woman with some strong opinions. You also work a lot in the Middle East, any opinions about Israel/Palestine?
Yes, but none of them are printable in polite society. In the US I am too pro-Palestine, in Denmark I am too pro-Israel. Does that help?
Not really. But let's move on. What do you think is your greatest accomplishment?
Uh, that one came out of left field! I feel that my greatest accomplishment will be if I finish this dissertation... but to date? Geez. Um. I think learning to cook from scratch. I could make Hamburger Helper and Campbell's Condensed Soups, but I pretty much failed at just about everything else. And learning to cook from scratch was something I had to do on my own. No one was there to tell me what to do and how to do it.
Is there any question that you would like to be asked?
My mind is still rolling around from that last question. Really, where did that question come from? Um, I'm out of questions for the moment, but maybe someone else has question ideas.
Right, well thank you for your time!
Sure, no problem. I really didn't want to spend that last hour reading Italian anyway.