As usual, I apologize for dropping out of the blogosphere. It’s hard to stay dedicated, as many amateur bloggers will tell you. But I’m back now.
Why? A few days ago I left the United States for an indefinite stay in Cairo, Egypt.
Because I’ll be doing something new, the content and focus of this blog is going to change. I’ll keep doing some of the link-and-comment stuff because I enjoy it. But the blog will probably become much more Egypt-centered. That’s where I’m living and working. I spend my days reading Egyptian news and talking to Egyptians. Before, I could just as easily blog about Israel as about Iran because I was in neither place. Now, I’m on the ground somewhere. This doesn’t mean that I am no longer interested in Israel, or Iran, or American foreign policy, or for that matter, Neil Young. (Unfortunately, I’ll have to take a break from my coverage of American craft brews.)
Also because I’m in a new place, the tone will change as well as the content. I’ll be having new experiences far from my family and friends. The blog will, at least for a while, develop as a kind of travelogue for me to share experiences and observations about living abroad. Blogging serves that function well. This stuff is more for people who know me than those who visit Next Year In seeking analysis or opinion.
Travelogue is a dangerous genre in a way and before I launch into it, I want to issue a caveat. When writing about life in a foreign country it’s only natural to draw parallels and notice differences between where you are and your home country. I’m sure I will fall into this trap. But I will try my best not tut-tut the silly natives like some kind of orientalist. Will I slip up? Inevitably. Do I deserve forgiveness? I hope so. I’m a stranger in a strange land.