Saturday, October 17, 2009

The needle has landed again

It's been both overwhelming and anticlimactic, this return. I now understand why so many run back to their far-off overseas outposts almost as soon as the jet lag of return wears off -- "real" life is fucking hard. There are the financial strains of life in the first world (the recession an added bonus), the sobering realities of flat tires and other mundane troubles, the maddening exactness of job ads. One is responsible for so much more when one speaks the language and can't just hide behind a foreigner's privilege, the charmed ignorance of the expatriate. It makes one almost miss the staggering strangeness of the days when making oneself understood in a restaurant without resorting to pictures or charades was enough to make the day. Almost.

I've been slack on updating here because I haven't had much to say. That's the anticlimactic part of the return: comfort, normalcy, reclamation. Familiar faces, and access to as many delicious burritos as I can stuff into my face. It's all been good. I'm studying for horrendous and unreasonable standardized tests and starting to get things together for graduate school applications. Not working, because no one's hiring, but that was expected. Hence the goal of retreating into academics. But for now, while my savings still make for a comfortable enough cushion, I lay low and enjoy the calm that comes before the next inevitable wave of wanderlust energy sweeps me off to the next adventure.

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