Recently, a lot of people have started telling me that I have lived in Holland far too long to still be considered an expat. I find this slightly troubling. I was not aware that there was an expiration date on being an expat and hopefully I have not been breaking any Dutch laws by continuing to call myself one. However, even more troubling is the fact that (if it is true) I no longer know what I am any more. If I am not an expat then what am I? The Dutch government still has not sent me a certificate of my official new title (whatever it is going to be) so I simply don’t know. I am very confused and have even started questioning the nature of my own existence. If I am not an expat am I even real? Do I really exist?
No one has been able to provide any answers or help me with this crisis of identity… until now. A recent conversation at the office has helped me find the answers I need. I can now get on with my life because at last I know who and what I am. I can be at peace with my new identity.
“No, you’re no longer an expat. You’ve lived here far too long to call yourself that.”
“But then, what am I? People keep on telling me that I’m not an expat any more but don’t have an alternative for what I am now.”
(After a moment’s thought)
“Now you’re just a Dutchmen who speaks very bad Dutch.”