I bought a game (Lingo...ever heard of it? Ever played it? Is it any fun??) a book of travel essays, a Wallace & Gromit CD-ROM, and a JELLO cookbook because how could I NOT buy it?! It made me laugh.
I've been a member of the AWC here for nearly 10 years...our 10 year anniversary is coming up this fall, and it's really had its ups and downs over the years. I've been a board member as well for 8 of those years, editing the website and the online newsletter and doing lots of other peripheral activities and duties that go along with it. At its best it is a super support network and a wonderful place to just be yourself with people who come from similar backgrounds, and who get your jokes and your cultural references, and at the same time it's an international group that is packed with richly interesting people from all kinds of places.
People in the same situation: living abroad, living with a person from a different culture than their own, raising bilingual bicultural children, struggling with learning a new language as an adult, and learning new customs, getting used to new tastes (except salt licorice...that I will NEVER get used to), incorporating new traditions and gaining a new view of the world. I'm glad I'm a part of it and I'm proud of both my role in it and the part I've played in building it.
And I had a massage today and sushi for dinner tonight. And it was a gorgeous day. How can the world not be shining? How can we not be smiling?