Greetings from Limbo, USA. That’s more of a state of mind than an actual town.

I am into my 23rd day into my trip from Yangon to Dubai to the USA and being on the road definitely has its ups and downs.

Some days I am nostalgic and wistful. There’s nothing like seeing old friends, reconnecting with family, and being in the town you grew up in decades ago when now you live over 8,000 miles away.

But it can be jarring to get out of your usual routine for too long. My husband returned to Myanmar already two weeks ago while I remain with the kids so they can spend time with their grandparents a bit longer.

I am trying to get some work done while also technically “on vacation” leaving me in a state where I am not doing either task right. I am sucking at getting any work done and I am sucking at trying to relax. I can’t tell if the neurosis and anxiety in the air is coming from me, my family, my town, or that’s just how the entire country is at the moment.

Meanwhile my country of birth is suffering from split personality disorder and depression. We all know why. I watch the news these days the way I watch horror movies, with hands partially over my eyes and ears.


This mural in Cambridge, MA summed up last summer perfectly


Last summer I was marveling at how friendly everyone was in the US. This was not difficult after coming from Rome, Italy. Rome is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking cities in the world and will always hold a beloved place in my heart. But man…. the locals can be MEAN at times. Not if they see you on a daily basis or if you are part of the family. But let’s just say there is still much to learn there about customer service and civic pride. Romans make New Yorkers look like Californians. (Northern Californians, I should say!)

Most Romans are in fact, perfectly sweet. You just need to cut through their protective crunchy outer shell. They are not so different from my Massachusetts kinfolk. It might be hard as a newcomer to make friends in New England where people mostly keep to themselves. But once people get to know you, you’ll have fiercely loyal friends for life.

What warms my heart in the USA is when I see people of vastly different cultures and backgrounds coexisting peacefully. Even better when they obviously are friends or are in love.

Here’s a photo of my kids with “Mother Goose” at Story Land in New Hampshire. Of course the boys are cute, but I really wanted to get the multicultural mural behind them. Can scenes like this still exist outside of Story Land?



I love my kids, but this photo was all about the mural.


I’ve had many anguished conversations with loved ones these past weeks where they are wringing their hands over the direction the country is going in. To be overly simplistic, they can’t believe that “hate won over love.” Even I tell them they are being overly simplistic.

But let’s be honest. Nastiness is afoot. I can feel it in the air. The energy is different this summer.

But I also see people resisting. I see people who once were apathetic who are no longer so. I see people stubbornly refusing to believe that we can’t be that country in the mural. And what we are going through is normal. For every step forward, there is a step backward. And then a little bit forward. Rinse and repeat.

So yes. These days I feel a bit dizzy. Aimless. Without direction. Occasionally hopeful and optimistic. Depressed and anxious. Always restless. And wistful.

I am grateful to have this opportunity to visit and revisit my country.

I am appreciative that my international kids born in Italy, now living in Southeast Asia can adopt Swansea, Massachusetts as their summer home town and that my little town welcomes them with open arms. The only price we have to pay is the butchering of their names with a nasally local accent. (Lu-kiss and Nick instead of Lukas and Nico…)

So thanks USA. Chin up.

Don’t forget who you really are.

Art imitates life. But sometimes we have to just imitate art right back.



With liberty and justice for all.