Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at

This past spring, I posted an entry entitled “The Land of the Non-Flying Dutchman,” in which I likened myself to the ghost ship that, because of a spell placed on it, would never reach port.

This evening I met a Dutchman who spoke to me in French and told me he had lived in Brazil for many years. He was also fluent in German and Spanish. In fact, the room was filled with multicultural people who could proudly claim several linguistic heritages.


No longer a cursed vessel tossed about by relentless waves, I have found safe harbor at Language Intelligence, a company which provides language teaching, translation and interpretation services in my hometown.Their website can be found here:

Indeed, fluency in more than one language and competency in several cultures had begun to feel more like a curse than a blessing, as my fellow citizens struggled to fit me into their monolingual, monocultural comfort zones. Instead of holding me up as a walking example of global citizenship, they found it easier to transform me into a ghostly presence.

The real-life non-flying Dutchman who began speaking in French, switched to English and finally asked me to talk to him in “castellano” used to travel on a boat in the Mediterranean. He re-familiarized me with the notion of “port d’attache,” meaning port of registry, which all ships have except for that mythical vessel doomed to haunt the seas, The Flying Dutchman.  It is not at all surprising that this at-home-everywhere Dutchman later settled in a place that bears the name of Porto Seguro, or Safe Harbor.