Art · Culture · Expatria · Third Culture Kids · Travel · Women

Intimate Strangers

The incredible, magical Vysehrad, taken from my apartment window.
The incredible, magical Vysehrad, taken from my apartment window.


On Sunday February 28, the sun was peering over the horizon as I woke, I drank a cup of coffee, nibbled on some leftover prawn vindaloo and got on the phone with nine virtual strangers to talk about hybrid identities and location. Dialogue 2010 was the first of its kind, curated by artist Rose Deniz and hosted by expat+HAREM’s Anastasia Ashman, brought together 10 women scattered all over the globe to talk in real time about issues we often discuss in our blogs, on Twitter and within the expat+HAREM.

Though I am not a morning person in the least, once we started talking and sharing details of our lives and identities, I was jolted awake. In my hybrid life I’ve struggled to leave behind an idea of a physical home, a house with a picket fence signifying permanence. However, I felt right at home with those nine women, sisters in hybridity and creativity.

Since Sunday I’ve had an Indigo Girls song stuck in my head. The line that’s been on repeat sings, “I have no need for anger with intimate strangers and I’ve got nothing to hide.” When I looked up the song I chuckled to see the title is “Reunion“. Synchronicity, pure and simple.

The ten of us were on the phone for an hour and a half, revealing personal details about how we feel about our lives, how being an expat has shaped us, how creativity focuses our spirits, how our identities have been shaped by the myriad forces around us. When I told my husband about all the things we discussed, openly, he was incredulous: “But you’ve never actually met any of these people?!” Maybe not, but I know them. I understand them, maybe more so than some people I’ve known my whole life.

Dialogue 2010 was a meeting of kindreds, as women, as hybrids, as artists, as dreamers, believers. During our talk I received definitive proof that you can deeply connect with people via the Internet. You can indeed share your soul and see another’s soul shining back.

Rose said, our conversation across time zones and this quaking planet “defied boundaries”. After I hung up the phone, I was overcome with a feeling that something magical had taken place: We had forged the first links of a lasting bond.

I looked out my window, grinning like an idiot, sipping my coffee, nibbling on my prawn vindaloo. I went back to sleep and had a most vivid dream in which our amazing conversation continued. I woke up with a huge smile on my face and heart, looking forward to our next encounter.

Related posts:

PATHFINDER by Rose Deniz
WHAT IS A TURQUOISE POPPY? by Tara Lutman Agacayak
TALKING POINT by Catherine Yigit
RING MY BELL by Anastasia Ashman
A THOUSAND CREATIVE WAYS by Catherine Salter Bayar

8 thoughts on “Intimate Strangers

  1. Hello, Lovelies! Your comments made me deliriously happy. Sometimes the worry is we are alone in feeling these connections over great distances, and I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one. I’m on computer hiatus at the moment with a flare-up of a wrist injury, but my brain is a-buzzing with more thoughts on our dialogue and I’ll be back as soon as I can. Biggest hugs to all of you! xoxo Sezin

  2. Thank you Sezin! Your post, the music link and then these comments made my day! There is so much potential here I see, so awesome things already accomplished by you all and I trust so much more to come… truly magical.

  3. Thanks Sezin!! I suppose when we are able to connect around the issues that truly rule our lives all the incidentals fall away…

    I’m so glad you were able to participate — and that we found you here in cyberspace.

    With our ability to meet people online with common interests it’s clear that virtual relationships are not only as real as those in actual life, but have many reasons for being just as valuable if not more. As expats and global citizens we experience this truth every day when the people closest to us physically are a million miles away from our psyche.

  4. Hi Sezin,
    I’m in complete agreement with you. It’s truly amazing when connections like this happen across time and distance. My husband and I had most of our courtship via emails…not something that was very common back then! But it does happen…and it does happen.

    It was fun reading your post and receiving that same connection you were feeling and wrote about. Thanks for sharing your experience and verifying that it is possible to get to know others, via the Internet, even if we never meet in person.

    Have a great day,

  5. Sezin, Your post brings tears to my eyes, you’ve said it all, and so well. Now I’ve got to go listen to that song, thanks for the link! Thanks for keeping the feeling created during our global conference call alive. Time for me to enter my impressions on my blog. We’re linked through Expat+Harem! Hugs, Judith

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