An Idiot Abroad


Why would you give it all up and move abroad? Well I did it because I was running away. Definitely wasn’t out of a sense of adventure. And the reason I ran away is because I was too dumb to get into grad school or to get a good job back in the motherland. The reason I know I’m dumb is because I once fell for a Craigslist scam and shipped my iPod Touch off to Nigeria. This guy offered twice what I was asking. I remembered being touched by his altruism.

I was stupid, but when I was in America I could sort of coast by because I’m tall handsome and hilarious. At least I thought I was those things. Someone should have told the girls that, because getting laid in America was harder than becoming President.

Give it all up. I didn’t give anything up. What I gave up was being broke and lonely. I just ran away. Used geography as therapy. You feel like you’re better than everyone else when you’re standing next to a pagoda.

Then the high is gone and you realize you actually haven’t gone anywhere. Every place you go, they have English and Coke and Top 40. And then you start to remember that no matter where you’ve slunk off to this time, you still have to be your stupid self. However you came off the assembly line, that’s who you are. You are the end result of your genetic OS and whatever malware your parents downloaded into your head as a child. Change if you want, but maintaining those changes is like holding a sprint.

What’s easy is flying to a place with cheap beer and no taxes and no laws for white people. What’s brave is staying at home, being a clone who’s unable to play the foreigner card.

Maybe you disagree with me. And hey, you would probably be right. I’m the guy who ships Apple products to Sub-Saharan Africa for free, so what do I know.

(P.S. You’re welcome, Samuel Babatunde.)


22 thoughts on “An Idiot Abroad

  1. 2 years ago I had 5 things I love. Now I’m down to 2 things. If I lose the 2 things I will prob be soon over there with you (though prob China bc they don’t seem to care what kind of Americans they get) so keep telling us about life in Asia! I need to know what to anticipate!

  2. Dude, OS man, you are like the apocalypse – when’s a writer going to catch a break? At least you’re published. I’m seriously like hoarding leftovers from your wealth here.

      1. I can drink water straight out of the ground here. Worlds cleanest aquifer. I love Tennessee more and more as I read about the rest of the world

  3. your observations have real merit: there are clones everywhere except in the quietest of places where people have no money or need for money… maybe what’s brave is not being a clone wherever you are.

  4. A lot of my old friends are “winners” but their high is wearing off. They are married, kids, “good job,” new German automobile but that’s the height of their curve. I now hear and see the come down of their high and all that is left is the comfort that the ones around them are enduring the same torrid life. Short term gain for long term pain. You’re a winner in my books, Fred.

    1. I’m glad to pick up your endorsement! I mostly get insecure about my station in life because a guy I went to high school with got in on the ground floor of Uber and is now rolling in it. But other than him, there aren’t too many people at home I get jealous of.

  5. As a life coach and someone who is all about living organically… This is the best thing I have read in a long time! I about died laughing when I read the “malware your parents downloaded” because oh man… such wonderfully true words!

    You my friend, are amazing!

  6. Ha! Okay, three things:

    1) BRILLIANT idea. Fuck jailing the scammers – just get rid of the stupid people and the problem solved itself!! (I’d be in prison for life, but I’d probably have a better chance of writing a best-selling novel)

    2) “whatever malware your parents downloaded into your head as a child” – God, I have never heard that put so perfectly. Why aren’t you famous again??

    3) Thanks for making me feel better about being too whimpy to pack my shit and move abroad. I’ve done it twice before and it was incredible but now I’m poisoned with all those middle class concerns about jobs and where the kids will go to school and whether or not my husband will leave me for a French model. So I comfort myself with a hug from a gal named AftertheKidsGrowUp.

    1. I will be famous and my commenters will be too. Soon. Everybody wins. Staying home does make stronger people I think. Especially if they have families. After you have kids, what can’t you do?

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