Last Thursday I departed the wonderful land of Norway and started my journey back home. After spending nearly a year in a different culture I expected things would be different when I returned. While sitting in the Iceland airport, I was approached by random people– mostly old ladies making passing comments about how the plane was supposed to board 10 minutes ago. I hadn’t experienced this open friendliness towards complete strangers in a while. On Friday, as I was walking the streets of Alexandria with a friend, I noticed she said “Hi” to any and almost every passerby– as I just walked by silently. Did I used to greet strangers, but have lost the habit because of the irregularity of that happening in Norway?
By Friday night I was back in my own bed, sleeping on my own pillow. I woke up the next morning, stretched out horizontally across my queen size bed, wondering how my body just fell back into old habits of twisting and turning in the night. By mid-morning I decided it was time to begin texting some friends, to let them know I was home. I realized I had lost the art of texting. “What art?” you ask me? The ability to efficiently and eloquently smash 100 words of information into 10. I now have this mentality that it is simply easier to wait until I see these people in person and talk. Have I turned into an old person? Of course, getting together in order to talk requires a little bit of messaging back and forth– people are no longer down the hall or across the road. My friend circle stretches out across different neighborhoods and even cities. And now I feel like it’s the perfect time to mention driving. Meeting up with a friend can require a 30 minute drive both ways. Traffic lights– they are the worst. Traffic in general– it’s something I’ve escaped the past year and boy have I not missed it.
I unpacked my skis and realized the nearest place to use them right now is thousands of miles away. I haven’t finished unpacking yet because that will make it all feel too real. My luggage is strewn across the floor and it feels like I am just squatting there for the time being– waiting for the next departure. Although I had a home-base in Norway, this year has had endless amounts of trips. There were only a couple of weeks in which I didn’t pack a bag and go somewhere, anywhere.
It hasn’t even been a week and I am beginning to go crazy. I’ve started chiseling wood and juicing fruits and vegetables. Is that what I am becoming? A wood chiseling, vegetable juicing, own-room squatter, incapable of unpacking or texting? I’ve recently started conversing with my roommate for the Autumn. Perhaps that’s how I’ll describe myself to her– that’ll really get her nervous.
Like I said before, I knew things were going to be different– and I needed things to be different. I get the benefits of good ol’ home without the face-palming boredom because everything can be rediscovered. And I mean, yes, I am bored because there are no glaciers in sight– but being able to rediscover the ins and outs of everything around me will be enough to keep me busy… for a week or so. After that you might want to check on me to make sure I am not crazily chiseling away at wood, crying tears of carrot juice.
I’ll keep you posted.