I don't really fit into either category, but as I come from the United States, I'm too bourgeouise--in a worldwide political sense, mind--to be called an immigrant, and Germans want nothing to do with me. So I hang out with other "expats" on a regular basis.
The other night, I even went to an event arranged by and catering to such people. It was my second time attending, and I'd forgotten why it had taken such a long time between the first and second visits. The second I walked through the door, I remembered. It was because the first time I went, I had sworn to myself that it would also be the last.
You know how you go to a party where you don't know anybody, but you're friends with someone who knows someone? So now you're someone who knows someone who knows someone, and as you all live in the same town, the likelihood that you will meet someone who knows someone who knows someone you know can be pretty high. You're all around the same age group and as you've all been invited by someone who knows someone, or by Someone Him-or-Herself, you're likely to have Something in Common.
Something in Common can cover a broad range of topics, from activities to opinions to preferences. You see, I can walk into any party anywhere in the world and enjoy myself, as long as the one thing that the majority--come on, even half--of the attendees have in common is Not Being a Total Douchebag.
No such luck at the expat event. The last time I had such awkward, boring time must have been some time at my in-laws place. You will think I'm exaggerating when I say I was painfully bored, but I'm not lying. It literally hurt my feelings to be that bored. I stayed for an hour--an hour!!--waiting to see if any of the hundred or so attendees of this thing would be worth staying longer for. I scanned the room hopefully, looking for signs of an interesting conversation to butt in on.
But alas, all I saw were other boring people, not seeming to mind being bored by one another. No eruptions of laughter. No intense, involved conversations. Just a bunch of people from all age ranges, from every corner of the earth, boring the socks off of one another, the only Thing in Common that they had being that they all spoke some degree of English.
As soon as I was able to extract myself from what was, admittedly, an engaging conversation from a complete lunatic (sorry Niall) I saved myself by going dancing at the skanky club down the street, which had promised to be fun that night.
To be continued...