When I was living in France -- for seven years -- I felt like I fit in. I would walk down the street, look around me, and feel like I "get" this place, and I'm a part of it. After a year and a half in Zürich, Switzerland is starting to become homey and familiar, but it's still foreign and strange, and so am I. Perversely, I find that I've made more friends here than I had in Bordeaux. And it's not in spite of my strangeness, it's because of it.
Back in Bordeaux, I didn't have much reason to pursue a friendship with one person instead of another. I joined a club for anglophone expat women in France, but I only attended once -- I didn't feel like I had much in common with them. But here, I naturally fall right in with my fellow weirdos. American, French, Canadian, Brit, and people from even more exotic locales, we all make up one motley band.
The people of the expat and blended-poly-cultural community have a lot of common experiences, regardless of which country they started out in and which culture they moved or married into. (Actually, I was already a part of it in France and earlier, as the Mathematical community is very international.)
"Am I cool with fitting in nowhere? Am I okay with being in a limbo?" asks Andrew, this time talking about that other part of my identity: being an atheist "cultural Mormon."
Well, I am what I am. Like it or not, I have only so much choice in the matter. And I'm happy living in limbo, why not? Being a perpetual outsider, straddling multiple communities -- without fitting entirely in any one -- isn't the absence of real identity. It's an identity that's a little bit different.