Oh, yeah. Had a coworker who did the same thing. EVERYTHING was so much better at home in Mother Country. Medicine was better. Sports were better. Literature was better. Fruit was better (even though, apparently, you had to stand in line for hours to buy one cherry, but it was apparently worth it).
And one day I had had enough and said "Why on earth are you still here? I'm ready to leave now listening to your description. Why ever did you leave such a paradise?"
And off he slunk without another word. Someone told me later that, yes, once again, he and his family came over here to escape political repression and poverty. I simply do not get it.
Simply, it was his home once, with everything indefinable that made it his place, where every stick and stone of it was part of who he is, part of him; where he understood how everything worked and how he fitted in. However poor it was and however unpleasant, it was his *home*. And now he's lost it, and he evidently doesn't yet feel that the US has become home.
That said, it's the height of bad manners to constantly be decrying the US, which has given him refuge. I can be irritated by it, yet understand it. I'd miss home, too.
I think if you're emigrating to get away
from something, rather than to go to
something you want, it's easier to be nostalgic and wistful about the bits of your old country that didn't suck. If only that one bad thing (like, say, imminent risk of death) hadn't been there, it would have been perfect
Some time before I met my now husband, the Good Ethnic Boy, he sort of lost a girlfriend to "Other Country Is So Much BETTER" Syndrome. She went to London for a short exchange program - I think three months - and when she came back she spent weeks moping around and pining (audibly) about how London had been great, she missed London, London was better than here because ((insert reasons)), she wanted to go baaaack. Finally he snapped and told her "Well, go back then!"
Thus he was free when I
About four years later, he gritted his teeth and was supportive when I went on a student exchange to Japan for a year, despite being terrified that history would repeat itself. (He also cooks. The man's a keeper and I've got him, ladies.