Eight months in and while many people who meet me might think that the adjustment is pretty much over I think I have just figured out that the iceberg might lay pretty far below the surface.
I had a conversation with someone at fellowship the other day and we were discussing this and that. My this and that happens to have a lot of China in it. She said something to that effect and was it because I missed China so much. Yes I do because of course I would and it would be silly to think any different however the reality of my chit chat is we lived there for 12 years.
The conversation really made me think for awhile. It made me think about exactly what China was to me.
It is the place where I live for all but the last 8 or 9 months of my adult life.
It is my frame of reference for everything from book clubs to boy scouts. I read Les Miserable there and became a mother. I gave birth in a Chinese hospital and had my first Japanese food in Shenyang. I got my first credit card because I was going to be living there. I coloured my hair for the first time in China.
The conversation also made me think about how I still feel a little release of pressure when I speak Chinese and feel more at home when I am around any Asians but especially Chinese. One thought led to another and I started thinking about how when living overseas Americans gravitate toward each other, Australians gravitate toward each other, and so on... So here I am and I don't know any Americans but I find myself wanting to speak Chinese and be around Chinese people.
I added all these things up and realized that to me China is home. Home is not something that you transition away from I don't think. I think home is something you carry with you where ever you go.
BUT, (I love that word), missing home doesn't mean I can't very much be loving and enjoying a new place and new people. Even if they are crazy healthy people and I don't understand how any junk food restaurant turns a profit here. New bizarre thing I saw today was a car commercial which showed people exercising and the car. This was apparently because if you buy this car fun will come before work. Hee Hee only in Aussie land.