Big Question Marks

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to Weirdness

So it's been nearly a week since our English jet popped us back into what is now our bizarro world: Canada. And holy crap, is it ever hard to describe the feeling. It's been great to catch up with our families after so long-- my parents were surprised that I "haven't changed a bit" and I have to say I was a bit surprised to find everyone the same as how I left them (aside from my mother's nose stud!). But why should we be surprised at this? August was a month of reunions and they were all great-- it was just like picking up where we'd left off, like we'd seen Andrew, Krissy, Juan, and Laura a week or two ago, not years ago! Definitely a great feeling.

Aside from the people being pretty much same same (that's quasi-Thai, folks), I have to say many other things are the same as how we left them. Radio stations are still playing the same crappy songs they were repeating to death 3 years ago (have we not had enough Verve or Coldplay or Tragically Hip yet??); there's still nothing on TV at noon, or any other time of day really; lineups at the OHIP office still as long as ever... the usual. I was surprised to learn yesterday that yes indeed, I do still remember how to drive, and after years of living on the left-hand side of the road, trying to learn manual transmission, switching to an automatic car on the right lane feels natural all over again. I'm still reaching for the turn signal on the wrong side of the steering column though!

Maybe all this sameness is making our trip memories feel like it was just a movie we watched last week. It's amazing how quickly memories flit away. I always love the first few days in a new country, when everyone's accent sounds a bit funny (try going into a Timmy's after speaking 'Australian' for a couple of years) and the architecture is still new to me. I wasn't planning to readjust so quickly-- in fact, I was planning to be weepy and culture shocked for ages-- but I think it just kind of happened. Perhaps Britain was an excellent buffer to help transition between Asia and North America. Or maybe in the back of my head, I'm telling myself it's just another leg of the trip: my brain's way of dealing with the return.

It's also weird for us to be apart after more than two and a half years of hanging out every day-- now with all the catching up with families, there's some distance between Adrian and I. But we're in agreement that while things here might be the same, we're a little different inside. Like when I arrived to my old bedroom, and was astounded at how many clothes I have. (Who needs this much stuff?? Good god!) The average food portions in restaurants are way too much for us-- six months of eating teeny portions of rice for each meal has changed our stomachs, it seems. Neither of us has any desire to watch television: perhaps after having so much real-life entertainment for so long, a moving picture on a screen is hardly fulfilling. Some of these changes aren't a bad thing to hold onto, really-- but I guess after a long trip like ours we're bound to come back a wee bit altered.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and we'll keep you posted on what's happening. That travel bug doesn't just cure itself after all! To look at things on the bright side, at least now we have time for some much-needed reflection on our many experiences-- something we never really had time for while constantly on the go. We'll be sure to share often! Keep in touch.
xoxox, D.

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