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First, I want to say, announce, declare, hell shout that I enjoy being an expat. Love it actually. Ever since my partner and I started on our adventure nearly nine ago, I’ve had the privilege of travel and all the opportunity and experience that allows. I’ve been places I never thought I’d see. Sure, many people would travel around the world to visit Sydney or Beijing but Kuala Lumpur and Seoul? Living in Asia for over seven years meant all these cities were relatively easy to get to. And I can assure you, all those places are worth a visit.

Now that we’re in London, I’ve been able to easily revisit Rome, Genoa and Nice and explore new places like Lisbon an Istanbul. It’s a dream come true really. So what’s the problem you ask? Every home is no home.

There is no such thing as a citizen of the world (Who came up with such a pretentious phrase anyway?). In the end, you have to live somewhere. Maybe it’s a hotel room in Singapore or a serviced apartment in Buenos Aires, but you collet your mail somewhere. And if you are lucky enough to have several homes, you consider one of them your primary residence.

I used to think of New York as my adopted home town. I still do somewhat. Mostly. OK, maybe not really anymore. But that’s not true. I feel like I’m losing my identity. I envy my friends back in states. They’re New Yorkers or Chicagoans or San Franciscans. Friends I met while living in Tokyo or Hong Kong are back in their original cities whether that’s Sydney, Cape Town or elsewhere. They bought property, built homes or returned to old ones.

And maybe this is the problem. We don’t yet own a home. I don’t have a primary residence. Sure I live in a flat in London but it’s rented. And I didn’t grow up in the UK. I always felt like a drifter in Tokyo and Hong Kong because I knew my time there was limited. Now that we’re in London and loving it…well maybe it’s time to put down roots.

I feel like I’m cheating on my hairstylist here in London if I’m back in New York and get my haircut elsewhere. I feel the same way about New York. Even admitting that I love London and in some ways more than New York makes me feel guilty. As if New York would shake me and cry, “Is that mushy peas on your collar? Do I smell vinegar!? How could you goddamn you!!! How could you!?”

Christ, I make New York sound like an overacting suburban woman from a bad 1970s melodrama. And she most certainly is not. New York was the city that called when I was a gay kid and living in nowhere Texas. I longed for big city life, to dance and party with all those people I saw on TV. Crime? Yes. Trash on the streets? Please. Time Square hookers? I’ll take a dozen. The New York I longed for when I was a kid, was the New York of the 1970s. My parents would ask me why on earth I’d want to live there and I’d answer “Because it’s not here.”

And now nowhere is here. I’m lost. A gym bunny gone mad. A house spouse whose primary responsibility is to cook, decorate, shop, run errands and plan trips. I even have a housekeeper for God’s sake–a Russian with animal print bras. She doesn’t speak English and smiles a lot. We’re constantly smiling at each other, like we’re high on Zoloft together.

But I digress.

I’ve played Lady MacBeth for too long. Not that I don’t enjoy strategizing with my partner, helping him with his career. He always thanks me for my “vindictive, conniving, calculating Mexican advice”. Believe me, we take that as a compliment. But maybe I need more than a thank you. I don’t want to work right now because I enjoy tagging along with him when he travels for work. I’m thinking about volunteering again. I love the roaming but I need a rudder, my own rudder. My partner always steers while I look ahead and point. Maybe I need to do some of my own steering for a while. Take command of this boat. Hell command of this goddamn metaphor before I run it into an iceberg (ground).

And maybe write more in this blog that was so important to me when I was losing my mind in Japan.

OK, I’m tired of waiting for that bloody phone repairman! Yes, I said bloody. Where the hell is he? Has he got his knickers in a bunch? I’ve been in my gym clothes for three hours now, waiting for his ass. I need to get to the gym. And it’s sunny! Finally. I need to go to Whole Foods. And as if on cue. Wow. Love when stuff like that happens. Must buzz him in.


On Sunday night after Sunday pasta (a hold over from when my partner and I used to watch The Sopranos on Sundays in New York), I turned on the TV and was delighted to see my favorite frog-faced intellectual Indian guru, Fareed Zakaria. Is that man cool or what? Now, I don’t read Newsweek (The Economist and The New Yorker are better), but every time I see Fareed on TV, I just stop what I’m doing, watch, listen, learn and yearn to invite him over to dinner. I make a mean guacamole.

Senor Frog Face Fareed Zakaria‘s GPS is CNN’s antidote to the Lou Dobbs Show. God, that man is out to lunch as far as I’m concerned. Somebody throw a blanket on him, call the vet and put him down already. Jesus. Anyway, Fareed’s Global Public Square (stick to GPS guys) starts out like my favorite BBC news show, Hard Talk. And while Fareed is no griller like the thinning Brit, Stephan Sackur, or that feisty hellcat, Zeinab Badawi, he didn’t completely under cook his first guest, Condi Rice. Given that the woman is frozen solid, even getting her to 0 degrees is a feet in and of itself so Fareed should be commended for his efforts.

In the second part of GPS, Fareed tackles a current world event and gives us his take (not spin) on it. You see, one of the reasons I like Fareed is because he doesn’t spin. He sits and takes. He doesn’t sit and spin like Lou Dobbs or Bill O’Reilly–another host who needs to be put down.

Like most things in Japan, we got wind of Fareed’s show late. Thanks CNN Japan! Seriously, thank you for finally bringing the show to the good people of Tokyo. And while you’re at it, would you mind airing the weekly addition of The Daily Show at a convenient and consistent time? I don’t think it’s asking too much that you not air it at five in the morning on random weekdays. Much appreciated.

Jesus, what crappy news out of my country of residence.  The Japanese are into mass suicide, not mass homicide.  They kill themselves by burning charcoal in an enclosed area.  They don’t kill innocent people by ramming their vehicles into crowds and then stabbing the wounded and stunned with a hunting knife.

Imagine if that demented man who killed and injured all of those people in the popular Akihabara district of Tokyo on Sunday afternoon had had easy access to a gun.  Thank God Japan has incredibly strict and highly enforced gun purchase and ownership laws. 

Akihabara, even on a weekday at noon, is very crowded.  Think New York’s 5th Avenue on a Saturday afternoon.  Tomohiro Kato, the man responsible for the slaughter, planned this in advance and for maximum loss of life, updating anyone who cared to read about his plans on a popular internet bulletin board, even texting from his mobile phone, “It’s time” just 20 minutes before the slaughter.   

We expats like to complain about life in the Bizzaro World that is Japan.  Is it weird living in Tokyo?  You bet your ass.  But do you worry about random crime on the street?  Getting murdered in your home?  Getting run over and knifed on the weekend?  No, no and no.   Let’s hope it stays that way. 

And no to the tyranny of the majority.

California has just struck down a homophobic and prejudice state law, and in thirty days will begin allowing gay couples the same right straight couples have enjoyed for centuries, the right to marry.

And no.  Churches, mosques and synagogues won’t be required to marry gay couples. Marriage doesn’t have to be a religious event. To those enlightened houses of worship that do marry gay couples, I say, “God bless you.” To those that don’t, I say, “Go back to your Kraft singles, pickup trucks and the World Wide Wrestling Federation.”

Don’t you feel sorry for dumb, rural people? God love ’em. If they were better educated and didn’t loose their virginity to a second cousin, they too might enjoy the finer things in life.

I was born in California, grew up in Texas and call New York City my adopted hometown. I’ve never been so proud of my birth state. As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation.