18 May, 2009

Looking forward to home

Our second term in Japan has been categorised by a growing sense of contentment - that "we're finally where we are supposed to be". This has been matched by a gradual decrease in "I wish I were still in Australia" which is otherwise known as homesickness. After nearly eight years away, you'd expect that, I guess. At least it sounds healthy! Imagine living and working for years in a foreign culture by your own choice without at least feeling it was somewhat tolerable. It doesn't sound good, does it? On the contrary, we're anticipating our arrival in Australia with joy. A couple of months ago when we bought out plane tickets, we were excited, though restrainedly so. As our departure draws near, I note within myself again the stirring of excitement! What is so good about Australia, you might ask? Here's a list of the things we most miss or look forward to:
  • 'Australian' food eg. beetroot, sausages, sausage rolls, pies, Mars Bars, mangoes, sultana grapes, custard etc
  • Freedom of expression. I long to be able to talk to anyone and to be able to freely express my thoughts. I feel quite limited here, like not being able to easily walk into a bank and express my needs. That feeling is unsettling and even demeaning - I'm reduced to the capacity of a preschooler!
  • Being able to read anything (which goes with the above, really). With this goes libraries, bookshops, newsagencies etc.
  • English church services
  • Shopping centres. They really aren't the same here. No good ones near us, at any rate.
  • Friends and family who've known me longer than the time I've been in Japan.
  • Summer Christmas.
  • Cricket (of course!).
  • Long open roads.
  • Working together with my husband again. Him not having a 8-5 job will be lovely. We complement each other in the work we'll do in Australia and we're looking forward to being together more of the time.
  • This time we're looking forward to all our children being in school!!!
  • Being Australian. Here our identities get a little muddled, along with our vocab and accent. We're looking forward to being amongst our own kind again.
  • Space - here everything is tight. The roads, the shops, the houses...


Shan in Japan said...

Fun list! I am beginning to think about such things, too. My first home assignment I was homesick for Japan the whole time, except at my sister's wedding which was just too much fun! This time I aim to be a little more balanced in my emotional state.
Happy packing!

Simone R. said...

Where will you be living? Where will the kids go to school?

Wendy said...

We've applied to Westside CC, but can't say they'll be enrolled there until their interviews 2 days before 2nd semester starts and 3 days after we arrive in Brissie. We'll be living somewhere out that way.

I can't say that we were much homesick for Japan last HA, but perhaps it'll be different this time...stay tuned. It is different as a family too, when you take a lot of your social world with you.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who comes from Hong Kong. She said the best thing about being in Australia was being able to buy clothes from the medium section, rather than the large section.