02 August 2015

The problem with having too many homes

I've been wanting to write some funny, cheery blog post for a few weeks now, but these last few months have been a special kind of awful...and it's definitely these darker times that make living abroad seem less like a fun and crazy adventure.

Of course, one advantage of living in Not The US (as L likes to remind me), is that I have two glorious months off, and he was able to get 2 weeks of annual leave in a row, plus some working-from-home time, so we headed back to the US for a whole 3 weeks.

My goodness, things get easier in one's home country. So, so much easier. Stranger on the street says something? No worries, not only do I understand you, you grinning, loud, cat-shirt wearing person, my cultural conditioning comes surging up from the depths of my memory and knows how to answer in an appropriate way. Very American mental high fives for everyone!

All of those foods that I miss and that I meticulously try to find on dusty shelves in specialty shops or try to recreate based off of suspicious online recipes? Guess what?! They sell them in the supermarkets! Main aisle. In cans. And they're CHEAP. What a beautiful, beautiful land.

And, of course, let's say I want to talk to my dad. And it's 11 am. Miracles of miracles, it is also 11 am his time, and so, I just meander over to my parents house and have a chat.

So, going back this time reminded me very painfully of all of the things I miss now that I live abroad.

Let me tell you about this amazing place where I'm from.

The mountains, my friends, are not mere pimples in the landscape. The fields stretch out luxuriously from mountain range to mountain range. The wheat shimmers and shimmies in a wind that has traveled for miles to run its fingers through their golden stalks. The air parts readily, the sun shines brightly, my dad sits on the porch, eating his fudge-sickle and rubbing his chemo-thinning hair.

And also loose dogs circle behind you to chomp on the back of your leg, as my nearly-faded bruise can attest.

I'm pretty certain that most of what I'm feeling is expat nostalgia brought on by a heartbreaking helplessness as I watch remotely through Skype and G+ while my dad is staring down cancer. It is so terribly tempting to pack a bag and move back (We could rent my sister and brother-in-law's second house! L could work from home! I could....work in Walmart...), but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the right thing for Smalls and L.

And probably not for me, either. In many ways, the Czech Republic is now very much 'home' and the things that would be lost and left behind would also be painful and much missed. It is the 'too many homes' phenomenon, the inescapable flaw in this whole adventure.

Children, be wise. Fall in love with someone from your home town. Find a nice job nearby. Avoid having kids/pregnancies. Tell your parents in strictest terms that they are not allowed to get terminal illnesses. Friends will also need to be thus instructed. Also, spouses. And avoid getting too attached to adorable black kittens.

Yes, obey these instructions while wearing dog-resistant protective gear on your legs, and happiness is sure to follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment