It’s weird being home after 2 years in Asia. It’s weird because people inconsiderately continued to live their lives while I was gone. I have been back for two months now and often I have to ask questions about people and places- thank god my sister queued me into what Twin Peaks was before I suggested dinner there (For others uninformed like I was, it’s like a mountain themed Hooters). It’s like knowing and not knowing my life. Same, same but different as they say in Thailand. If we could travel to an alternate universe I’d bet it’d be like this where everything is just slightly off. My friend Beth is still Beth but now Beth has a kid, and microbreweries seem to have taken over Denver.
I guess my muddled moments of feeling at home in a stranger’s house makes sense as this year has been an amazing cacophony of events. 2013 was living abroad and tropical adventures and long awaited homecomings. I ended a life and started a life. Now re-rooting after ten countries and two years I wonder which changed more, my hometown or me.
Living in China was an experience. That’s what I say when someone asks me about my life in Asia because it’s hard to know how else to describe it. I have stories from China, and stories from travel and it’s fun to tell those stories at parties but it’s sometimes hard to really reconnect to the events I’m describing. Sometimes it feels like stories from the good old, way back days; not my life from earlier this year. My life in Asia and here are so different that it was easy for my mind to compartmentalize the experiences into then and now, and yet sometimes they do bleed over.
I think I’ve been thoroughly China-ed in ways I’m only starting to understand. Like now I kind of miss squat toilets for number one and the western toilets, just looming there with speckles of bodily fluid painting their cold, white exteriors, look like the last place I want to park my rear. Or sometimes I forget that unlike in Asia, in Colorado English isn’t a secret language known only to a very small percentage of the population so I have to remember to bite my tongue in public since now the public understands me.
I don’t quite know how China will affect me in the future because I don’t quite know where my life will go in the future. For now I’m happy to step away from this blog, and reflect on my adventure in the orient. Stay tuned in 2014 for any future epiphanies.