I’m extremely unpatriotic. The arbitrary circumstance of me being born and living in one country rather than another isn’t enough to inspire any attachment to my homeland. I have my sentimental moments though. For instance, when the national sports team wins a world championship, I may experience a vague sense of pride—being proud of nothing related to me really, especially since I don’t follow any sports.
The older, I mean the wiser, I get, the more I consider it fortunate to find myself in the second world. I believe it balances the extremes of the first world and the third world rather nicely. I don’t do anything coming close to a collective national pride, but I enjoy the comfort of familiarity. It’s the familiar, not the alien, that makes one feel at ease and, by extension, at home.
What works for me as a marker of home is the characteristic Eastern European socialist architecture. It’s a soothing sight, and whenever I see, say, a fellow blogger posting pictures of tall concrete tenements, it triggers an immediate sense of shared heritage in my mind. When I went out on the terrace tonight and saw the sun setting behind the blocks of flats—as captured in this post’s featured image—I had a weak moment when I was almost defiantly proud of my background.
I still deny any accusations of patriotism though and if you ask me, I will also deny having authored this sentimental post. It was the cat who hijacked my laptop and tried to embarrass me by blogging about feelings. I don’t do feelings, of course—unless related to the cat, who is currently sitting on the window, staring at the darkened tenements across the street and plotting how to taunt me next.