Why Strange Places Feel Good to Me


We moved around a lot when I was a kid, finally settling in St. Louis, Missouri. I never felt like I fit in. Then I went to college in Columbia, Missouri and graduate school in Iowa City, Iowa. I felt more at home in those places than in St. Louis, but still if somebody asked “How about them Hawkeyes?” my heart would sink and I’d feel like I had nothing in common with most of the people around me. ItTo me these wholesomely normal place were like the Cohen Brothers vision of Fargo.

So for the last ten years or so, I’ve been drifting as hard and as often as I can, Central and South America and Southeast Asia. I feel like I did in Missouri and Iowa, like a stranger on the outside looking in, except in these places I know why I feel that way. I don’t speak the language and I don’t look like anybody else.

So if I’m in Mendoza, Argentina or Mandalay, Burma, and I feel like a stranger in a strange land, I know why.

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