Recently I have been carrying around a hard case of the homesick blues. Ever since Juan and I have decided to spend the majority of our next summer vacation in America, I have been feeling increasingly melancholy and nostalgic. Not that I have one location that I would call my "home", I feel that I am missing the familiarity of being in my home country. What is it like not to have to bow all the time? What is it like ordering in a restaurant and not having to point at the pictures? What is it like to see a friend and not worry about whether a hug is appropriate or whether I should shake hands or just bow? What is it like to hear an opinion or a definitive answer? What is it like...? I just don't remember!
I find myself wanting to call my friends and family on a daily basis just to talk about anything or nothing. I find the idea of having a national identity, except the stereotypical one portrayed in the Japanese media, is getting more difficult to define. I find myself pulling my parents address up on Google Earth just to make sure the their next door neighbors still haven't mowed their lawn yet. I find myself starting to resent my Japanese surrounding and the people in it . I find myself in a full case of homesickness.
Juan says that after we spend 6 weeks in America I will snap out of it and remember why I love living in Japan. And even though we sacrifice by not being in our friends and families daily routines, that we are lucky to have good jobs with decent salaries and we are lucky in having the ability to live life in an adventurous spirit as an ex-patriot. To this I say he is probably right, but we will see. It has just been too long. This next spring, it will be 5 years that I have lived in Japan. I still can't believe it, especially since I only intended on staying for two. I have been away too long.
Juan and I are starting to get our itineraries ready for next summer. We plan on being in the US for 4-6 weeks. So far it looks like we will be staying ... 1 week in WA, 2 weeks in CA and 1-2 weeks in TX plus possibly a few days in Chicago or somewhere near our friends Tressa and Barzak. We haven't decided dates yet, but we will let you all know after we have booked our flights so you all can all arrange to take a day off of work to spend with us. Till then...
Missing you all as always,
Jody in Japan