03 July, 2012

Regaining confidence

Each time I come back to Australia from Japan (and I've only done it four times), I find that I've lost self-confidence in my ability to do various practical things while I was away. Additionally there are things in Australia that I haven't done for a while, so picking them up again is a tiny bit scary.

In answer to the question "What have you enjoyed most about your year in Australia?" I wrote this almost two years ago at the end of our year home assignment in Australia:
Regaining confidence in my ability to do simple things like deal with bureaucracy, banks, fill the car etc. (mostly related to language ability).
That was third on quite a list, you can check it out here.

But yes, little things, even like using my debit and credit cards, and signing my name (none of which I do in Japan), I need to familiarise myself with again. Even just navigating around in slightly (but not overly) familiar streets in Brisbane and Toowoomba is a little bit scary, especially in a strange car.

And there are always changes. Changes big and small. Today I went to the doctor and the way you pay for the consultation has changed, again. I think it is wondering when I'm going to encounter something unexpectedly new that keeps me a little bit on edge as I re-enter the country.

Thankfully we don't have the change of sides-of-the-road like Americans working in Japan do. Actually we had a mild instance of this kind-of confusion in Korea. We were standing on the left side of the escalator. Then we realised that everyone else was standing on the right-side. We didn't cause any major incidents, but I think that in an international airport it would have been nice to have the rule written up somewhere, or maybe it was and we didn't see it!

But something hasn't changed, at least not much. I went to the optometrist today and it seems I've hit the age that short-sighted people like. The time when ageing starts to reverse the short-sightedness. When distance sight gets better (but before near sight gets worse). So, my right eye hasn't changed at all, but my left eye is slightly better! But alas, my glasses frames were a bit of a dud — the paint is flaking off them — so I'm getting new frames.

But for now, I'm off to do some more relaxing. The last weeks have been pretty hectic and finally I can turn down the intensity a little.

1 comment:

Judie said...

Welcome home.
I'm looking forward to your Toowomba get-together - if I can find the blog that had the details!
I'll be in Brisbane this weekend, busy all day Saturday & Sunday, might be able to find somewhere to see you, but won't fret if not.