“Excuse me”. An elderly gentleman of about a metre distance from me says these two words in my direction, as he walks towards the bread in the distant back area of this particular supermarket aisle we are both standing in.
Wait, what did I just hear?
What a foreign concept this is to me. When did that surprise me?
Reverse culture shock is the process of re-adjusting to the area you used to refer to as ‘yours’. That place which used to be comfortably natural, and a good reference to what the base definition of the word normality is.
That place that just made sense.
I honestly cannot call any place my own place with certainty now. And I quite enjoy admitting that.
There is a difference between a place of your own and a home though. I do have a home. It is filled with my wondrous family, who are graciously putting up with my broke 22 year old ass for the two months I am living there. This is the place I learnt life, and will forever be a valuable nostalgic place with which I can remember all the beautiful and terrifying emotions when the words ‘grow’ and ‘up’ are mingled together.
But it is not my own.
I am still looking for that place.
This is a very interesting and unusual transitory phase I am experiencing now. Because I am in New Zealand for two months (in between contracts) I will have time to explore and write about these new feelings, and get to know my home all over again. It has only been four days as I write this, so I feel the best is yet to come. Or maybe I’m still in shock about being back in New Zealand. Ten months in China really flew by.
What do you call a home? Is it different from what you call your own?