I've recently been in touch with a guy who went to the same high school as me, although he's younger and we didn't know each other then. But I knew his sister, and we have tons of friends in common, and such similar experiences that he feels like I've known him for ages.
Aside from how much fun it is to talk to someone about Delhi, and reminisce about our lives and friends, there is something so lovely about talking to someone who grew up the same way I did.
For starters, there's no explaining the moving every two to four years, and how it's a great way to grow up but really fucks you up in some ways as well. Like when you try to figure out life and how you fit into it in the country you're supposed to be "from" - when you don't feel any sense of belonging anywhere.
My entire growing up we'd come home to the US every summer. Home meaning the Midwest, to visit relatives. But we didn't live in the US until I was ten. And then that was only for four years, until we headed back to India.
I knew for a fact I wasn't from North Dakota or Minnesota. But I also knew I wasn't from whatever country we happened to be living in at the time. And so, until I was really quite old, if someone asked me where I was from, I'd say, "I don't know."
"You don't know where you're from?"
"No." And clearly, I wasn't being rude or evasive. I was sincere.
They would invariably ask the following questions, to try to get at the fromness of where I might be.
"Well, where were you born?"
"Where do you live?"
"Egypt." (or Bangladesh, depending on the year)
"What on earth are you doing in Minot, ND?"
"Visiting my Gramma Lillian."
You see what I mean?
Now when someone asks I say DC, because it's easier, and because in many ways I feel comfortable here, feel like I've got some roots. But if they delve, it becomes a big long cumbersome explanation.
"Where I'm actually from? Oh, god. Pull up a chair. Want another beer?"