So I'm back in Nita, in my messy apartment, and what do I think of my visit home?
For one thing, it's really weird visiting home. I've gotten used to visiting Mom and Kreg in Poughkeepsie, cos Pok never was home for me. Mom and Kreg were, but not the house, not the city. I got to Syracuse on the 28th, and Chris had long since taken over my bedroom (he's done good things with it--it looks cozy), so I stayed in the guest room. (Grammy, when she came over, stayed in Chris' old room in the basement.)
Reverse culture shock was minimal. The first thing I noticed was that 65mph is really fast when you've been stuck with 50km/h speed limits for months. (I don't think my car is physically capable of exceeding 110km/h—it gets very unhappy between 80 and 100.) They opened a new 24-hour Dunkin Donuts on Marshall Street, and P&C supermarket bought the old Peter's near Drumlins. I learned that President Clinton had had bypass surgery (not all US news makes the headlines in Japan, and I don't read the newspaper faithfully or thoroughly), and SU head football coach Paul Pasqualoni was recently fired. Of all these things, maybe the P&C/Peter's thing was the most startling, but it didn't affect me much.
I visited with some friends, saw some folks at church, and tried to think of new ways to answer the question, "How's Japan?" I'd forgotten a lot. Not really forgotten, but it felt like the previous five months had drifted behind me into a cloud of fog, recognizable only by its silhouette. I would remember funny stories or strange details one at a time, here and there, but they never amounted to what had felt like volumes of things I'd thought I'd be able to tell people about living in Japan. And while I missed friends back in Shimane, I didn't miss Japan, because I knew I'd be going back.
The guest room wasn't too bad, but all of my stuff had been packed up into boxes in the basement, and, I dunno, it was just weird to return to a place that I once called home, and not feel like it's home anymore.
In a way, when I was on the train back to Nita, I felt like I was returning home.