My first brush with the term idiotenfreiheit is also the first time I have seen this exquisite freedom — that of the license to be foolishly other, the permission to exist outside the local norms — openly acknowledged. It seems to me that we who live abroad (23 years gone at this writing) are less consciously aware of this great intoxication than we should be. Where else, except maybe in artistic circles, can a person forgive themselves their many transgressions against local mores, while also experiencing something (sometimes unwelcome) akin to celebrity status. Celebrities may be elevated above the rest of us, but they are also treated as if they are not quite all there. In the expat context, idiotenfreiheit is nothing less than a drug. I think it is one very good reason many of us who try to go home end up ricocheting off in another international direction.