Category: LIfe

Under the Ceiling Fans; Friendships Evolve

  Moving 18 times throughout 7 countries in 45 years, taught me one fact of life. You cannot pack up friendships in a box to take with you when you move. You will have to start from scratch to remake these very important relationships, spending time and energy to rebuild new ones. But somethings can... Read more »

What to do without television? Oy vey!

Under my parents emotional and financial pressure, I was extricated from my first college to transfer to the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at University of Georgia in 1968. In revenge I majored in Radio-Television-Film, a field of study that offered theater as a minor, and the opportunity to not have to take a... Read more »

Adventures in Rabies and Tetanus in the 3rd World

The Dog Bite In the spring of 1962, 11-year-old Gary was settled in with his family to their new home in Lima, Peru. As the boy made his way to the American Society’s library to pick up a book, he encountered a few dogs congregated at the doorway. Having never met a dog he didn’t love,... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Demon Dentist of Daule (with nod to Sweeney Todd)

In the late 1980s, Sunday was the legally appointed day of rest for domestics in Ecuador. And though in the United States I’d been responsible 7-days a week for my family’s meals, while living in Guayaquil, Ecuador we went local and went out every Sunday for a full lunch. When in Rome. So returning late one... Read more »

The Idiot's Guide to Foreign Language

  Foreign language always seemed so, well, foreign. Who needs it? No one in my world spoke a foreign language, no one except Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy whose linguistic errors were a running joke. Living in Houston, my middle school French teacher spoke an unintelligibly drawled version of French. When she left teaching to go... Read more »

Medieval Torture Device; Socialized Medicine

Having a baby under Canada’s socialized medicine, I had zero complaints about socialized medicine. I could get into my GP within 24 hours most of the time. We didn’t have to spend hours fighting with various insurers whose policies change as often as Facebook seems to change privacy settings. And given basic pregnancy was dealt... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Ugly American

Lima, Peru-1972-1973 English books being in limited supply, I was often desperate to read something, anything, in English. So I re-read The Bible and parts of whatever encyclopedia was on the shelf. It’s hard to run out of multi-volume encyclopedias. Among one happy find was the 1958 bestseller book by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, The... Read more »

Miguel's Tasks; or fluency doesn't equate understanding

Linguistic fluency doesn’t mean you will communicate clearly, it only means that you ought to. For although my husband and I are both native English speakers, from time to time even we miscommunicate with a remarkable ease. So in Ecuador in 1986 it wasn’t uncommon for fluent Spanish speakers to hit vocabulary speed bumps. Take... Read more »

Foreigners in a Foreign Land

Vocabulary, Culture and Foreigners Monique had immigrated to Canada from Egypt, a place so polluted that the white dress she began her day in was gray by dinner. Although her English was very good, she lacked many colloquialisms and customs peculiar to her new North American homeland. Like what type of winter coat does one... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Placebo Effect; or The Karma of Things

  What is a Roman Catholic Church without the karma of its icons? So thought Maria when she learned that her hometown church’s icons had been stolen. Stolen! Can you imagine it? In Mexico! But with monetary donations from friends and family, a collection was raised to buy new icons. May I stash them out... Read more »
  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

  • Twitter

  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Categories

  • Tags

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: