02 August, 2009

Are you more at home in Australia or Japan?

Today we went to our local church and progressed on to a Japanese Fellowship's prayer meeting for Japan. The latter involved bring-and-share lunch and afternoon tea as well as a short harp recital! Upping the standard on your usual prayer meeting, that is for sure. As a whole, though, the day raised the question I've posed as the title for this blog entry: Are you more at home in Australia or Japan. One person at church commented that we must feel quite at home in Japan now that we've been there so long (nearly eight years). She did note that we don't have an accent (to my relief!). My answer was along the lines of, "Yes, we've adjusted quite a lot to Japan and feel reasonably at home there. However we are happy to be back in Australia in a culture we understand and where we can communicate more freely." Then we headed off into an expat. community of Christian Japanese. It felt a little like we'd come home, strangely enough! Our middle son grabbed some chopsticks and hoed into a plateful of Japanese rice. I started mixing up my Japanese and English again. We knew it was correct to leave our shoes at the front door. There were Japanese magazines and books lying around. Suddenly we felt we were back in a normal environment. Have we changed that much? As I think about it, I am a little shocked that I cannot say where I most feel comfortable. I guess I've become a "world" citizen. Or perhaps a little closer to understanding that my citizenship is in heaven, not here on earth. As an aside from my subject, I have to say that they were such an encouraging bunch. I cannot wait until we get to go and hang out with them again. Really, however, the people we feel most at home with these days are others who have lived overseas for a significant period of time and old friends. The third major event in the day was a family who practically just dropped in on us at 5pm. I think they felt a bit awkward (even though they came bearing practical gifts), but we loved having them. Again, the years apart didn't really matter. They'd been reading my blog (Mrs Q and Anika, I know you're out there), so they were up with what we'd been doing and didn't ask tricky questions (aside from "What is the difference between thick and thin tea?"), like, "So where've you been all this time?" and "You must love Japan?" The other great thing was that we hadn't spent a lot of emotional energy planning for a visit, it just happened. If anyone else feels like doing this, please try, it worked well. I fed them tea and hot water (really), bread and orange juice! Easy guests. If you're not fussy, come and drop in. I usually have some kind of snack food available (curtesy of a sweet toothed husband and hungry boys), we'd love to see you!

5 comments:

Anika Qing said...

Perhaps part of the awkwardness could have stemmed from the fact that we were afraid that if we relaxed into our usual craziness it would be recorded for eternity on your blog?

:P

It was fun. We'll have to do it again sometime, when we're not worrying about where Lloyd has gotten to...

Wendy said...

That is a potential concern, I have to admit. But as we're not using your real names, I guess it is not too dangerous! I hope I don't put other people off socialising with me, though...

Mrs Q said...

Mike and Matt are already asking about when we can visit again or have you visit, so I don't think they felt awkward! Next time we'll have Lloyd which will make for a crazy time I'm sure.

Tim and Susan said...

I am sure it is hard to "fit back to life" there. We always struggle a bit going back and forth...don't worry you are normal and we all definetly feel it.

Wendy said...

Thanks Susan. You are reassuring. I guess we probably redefine "normal", though, hence the title of my blog.