Out of Touch


fingerI sit down in front of my computer this morning waiting for the cobwebs in my brain to be scattered by caffeine. As I click on the Guardian, I am surprised to see that the Oscar Awards happened last night. In a moment driven by nationalistic duty, I click on the link.

I only know two of the films up for best picture and I give a half-hearted “Mmm” when I see who won. Then I make oatmeal.

One fact of Expat life is that I’ve found myself, both literally and figuratively, out of touch from my native land. When I first came to Prague in 2004 this could partly be explained by simple lack of contact. There was nowhere near the internet accessibility as there is now, so I could only get online once every few days. So being out of touch was a great deal due to inaccessible information.

But now, due to wifi in every restaurant, bathroom, and shoe shop, we are uber-informed and connected. And yet, I am still kind of out of touch. I feel removed from things that used to be important parts of my life.

The Oscars is one of them. There were Oscar parties and I truly was interested in who’d win. Not anymore. But surely this is linked to my nonexistent daily dose of American celebrity news and movie hype. If I want to find a movie trailer, I have to go find it, not simply turn on my television and sit back. I don’t even know who’s sleeping with whom anymore.

Right up there with the Oscars has to be the Superbowl. If you held a weapon to my head I couldn’t tell you who won the last three Superbowls. I had to look up the term “deflategate” (yes, I know it’s not the Superbowl) and when I read about it, I went, “Mmm.” But to be fair I could say this about football in general.

While I have always loved watching football, I hate every single other thing that comes along with it. I hate pregame, the halftime show, midgame analysis, postgame interviews, and anything that ever came out of the face of John Madden. And the Superbowl is lousy with these elements. So moving overseas was the perfect excuse to let these things drop out of my mind so I could fill them with more important things.

Some of those things are meat; none of those things are soccer.

Oh don’t get me wrong my American chums, I am not suggesting that I am too good for this stuff anymore. My visits to the U.S are spent watching baseball and talk shows. I find out all the gossip about who’s shagging whom and who drove a car after fourteen bourbons. If it’s in winter, I affix my butt on a rocking chair in front of a television and watch football until the neighbors complain about the smell.

It’s just that physically relocating means a change in environment and people. My Czech and British colleagues don’t talk about American sports or American TV. And things like American politics and taxes don’t matter to me at the moment. Frankly, it’s nice to free up the brain space for other things to worry about.

So I suppose it’s true that I am out of touch, but it’s a rather blissful thing. You should try it sometime.

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