“Home” / A Memorable Fancy #256

We arrived as tourists, learned the local words for “please,” “how much?” and “thank you,” patronized trinket sellers. The woman shopped for idle things, found little. “We should go on to St. Tropez,” she said, “but I like it here. It’s quiet, orderly. I don’t want to leave just now.” We considered the passport hassles, immigration grilling. And we and our sons especially enjoyed this place, I had to admit: a grandeur of palaces, splendid marches, speeches.

So we stayed, almost flying on or flying home every few weeks but never quite getting it organized. We had money, enough for comfort. Without knowing when or how it happened, then, we gradually became locals.

When did we finally feel this place was “home”? Perhaps it was when a tourist family from our old country stepped off the lander and we regarded them smugly, as strangers, and didn’t quite understand their speech. Or when we were first allowed to vote, then encouraged, then required to. Or when men with guns came to take our sons for the army or the rebellion, I was never quite sure which.



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