Re-entry, Bit by Bit
I have been back to the States for two months. Everyday, I have moments that remind me that I have been away:
- I smell air. I draw it in. I don’t take it for granted.
- Milk tastes like milk. (Many brands of fresh milk in Taiwan have added sugar and flavors.)
- Apartment is better than house. No space to accumulate things. No lawn to mow, no gutter to clean, no driveway to seal, no leaf to rake.
- Service means a totally different game. That guy who sold me the Toyota would be fired if he were in Taiwan.
- We read what we write about ourselves. The bookstores in Taiwan, China, Japan, and the Philippines are filled with books we write. How many of their books do we see in our bookstores?
- The deer herd in my backyard is only beautiful in the pictures I send to my Asian friends. They are not Bambi to me in truth.
- I drove 1,000 miles in two months. I only live seven minutes away from work. I didn’t do leisure travel. This is a nation on wheels. The $4+/gallon gas couldn’t stop us.
- Boy, had the food price jump in America over the past two years!
The repatriation coach said, “Some people’s re-entry back home is harder than their entering a foreign land. There is less excitement, less newness. It is home but old home. Every joy and disappointment comes from a changed expectation.”