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The Fellow Expat Dilemma

This Sunday we have a guest strip written and illustrated by Malachi Rempen, creator of the marvelous like-minded travel and language web comic Itchy Feet. Since this was a comic exchange, check out his website or Facebook page to see the one that I drew in the Itchy Feet style!  : ]

Expat Gone Foreign, tXc, languages abroad, German, Malachi Rempen


  1. Eileen McDonald

    Hi Malachi

    I laughed out loud at this one; it’s spot on.

    I think it’s so hard for two native speakers of one language to talk in a another language because humans are logical and they want to use the fastest and most effective way of getting from A to B. That’s why, even though I have a smattering of Swedish, I would never try to use it at a supermarket checkout in Stockholm with a queue behind me!

    However, because I teach English, I have to get people to do this “unnatural” so that they can practice, so in the classroom there has to be a kind of playful willing suspension of the realisation that there’s another language which is easier.

    I also laughed because just last night I sat down next to someone I didn’t know before a concert of the “bi-lingual” choir of which we’re both members and he started to speak to me in German. The fact that he used Sie was unusually formal in our choir and as we chatted in German I had that sneaking suspicion that we might actually be two native speakers of English holding a conversation. But the conversation was going fine until other member saw us, laughingly introduced us to each other, an Englishman and a Scotwoman, and broke the spell. From that moment on speaking German would have felt like an affection, so we carried on the conversation in English.

    There’s as much psychology at there is grammar in speaking a foreign language.

    Eileen McDonald

  2. Vivienne

    Hello, I have just recently come across your blog, and I have read every single comic on here in a matter of days! You really inspire me; it’s my dream to travel and live abroad, and seeing these comics make me feel like it’s really possible. :) May I ask, is there any way one can follow your blog and get updates whenever you post a new comic, through email for example? I don’t want to miss out! Thank you so much, keep traveling, and…I don’t know how much French you know, but I wish you Bonne chance et bon voyage! ;)

    • tXc

      Dear Vivienne,

      merci beaucoup pour ton commentaire! I’m really glad you like the comics and yes, everything is possible, you only have to want it badly enough to make it happen!
      By now you can subscribe to the newsletter but honestly I haven’t set it up yet… I’ll get to it as soon as possible. Anyway, I post a new strip every Sunday around 3 pm (GTM+1). Or you can also join the facebook page

      See you around and bonne chance pour toi aussi! :)

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