In 8 weeks I’ll be on a jet with the Turtle heading home for a month-long visit. I’m nowhere near eloquent enough to express how excited I am, how homesick I am, and how nervous I am.
I think excited and homesick are obvious, and need no explanation. The nerves are perhaps silly, but they’re present. Talking with my friend Aimee, I realized I have no clue about most movies that are current back home. After six months (plus) here in Singapore, while I don’t feel less American, I do feel very disconnected to what’s going on back home. I try to read Boston.com and CNN daily, I try keep more or less on top of the Daily Show (Jon Stewart is a far more legit source of news than FOX NEWS, thank you very much). But I can only do so much. I don’t know what songs are current (although I do have a number of the top iTunes songs on my iPod so I’m not thinking Captain and Tenille are still the shit or something–were they ever, REALLY?). We’re trying to make an effort to stay on top of new TV (are are super excited about New Big Bang and How I Met Your Mother in particular). But I haven’t driven a car in months, I haven’t seen anyone in person in months…and I’m just a little bit scared that I’ll be out of step there, just as I often am here. I know it will be fine, and I’m not trying to seek out tons of adoration…I know it’s a silly worry…but being back and feeling at home with you will cure of that soon enough.
So, what am I especially excited for?
1-Obviously, seeing friends and family. This is the longest I’ve gone without being with my close friends and family, so I can’t wait to hug you all, see how much your kids have grown, and give them big hugs too. Much as my mom and I have our stuff, I can’t wait to see her and my aunt. I’m also super excited that my friend B will be up from Florida for part of the time we’re there…I haven’t seen her in 5 years. I haven’t seen my cousin K, or my Uncle A and Aunt P in 16 years, and K’s daughter will be about a month old when I see them…I’m practically jumping up and down with excitement at the prospect. And it’s stupid, but the idea that I get to see the first half of Harry Potter 7 with my friends (the way we’ve seen most of the HP movies in some cases) in the theater on opening night is just the icing on the cake.
2-Food. While you can get western food here…it’s not great. There is NO good Mexican food here. There is no Friendly’s. Even Wendy’s is off. McDonalds and Outback are decent, but for the most part, I just sit around and longingly think of my favorite foods back home. Not to mention the cheapness and wide availability of things like Peanut Butter Cups, Wachusett BBQ Chips (yes, Shirley/Ayer/Acton/Lunenburg/etc peeps…I’m still addicted to them at 31…can’t help it, I grew up on them! Everyone else–they’re a locally made/sold potato chip..without being from our part of MA, you’ll never had heard of them). I’m also really excited to go to an American Grocery store. While you can get American food here (and no one needs to lecture me about how good we have it when compared to when you lived X or Y) the selection isn’t great and you have to often go to 3 or more stores to get all the things you want. The idea that I can go to a Shaws or Stop N Shop and just have almost everything I could ever want (except a great cut of meat) in a dizzying array of options is just…thrilling.
3-Microwaves–We have a “microwave” here. But it’s really more like a pseudo oven. It burns microwave popcorn before it’s even half-popped, and couldn’t bake a cake if the robot uprising depended on it. In other words it’s useless to do much of anything beyond melt some butter or warm a beverage (which I use the stove for anyway…in my mind it’s useless). I’ve never been a HUGE microwave user, but c’mon…who doesn’t love microwave popcorn?
4-Driving. My. Car.–At some point very very fast with very very loud music. Most of the time with a Turtle in the backseat, re-indoctrinating her to NPR. unapologetically. Yes, I get the podcasts, but it’s not the same. I am psyched at the idea of tossing my stroller in the trunk, leaving on my terms, not waiting for cabs that often don’t show, assuming rains means I’m stuck at home, and the power to just GO whenever I want.
5-Not paying 2-10X times more than what I’d pay in the US-As much as I’ve just been beaten down to the point where I meekly just paid the 25 SGD for a bottle of OPI nailpolish yesterday (I’m not really a waitress), I still resent it. I really need to start compiling my shopping list. We are coming with suitcases full of winter clothes we’re goign to leave in MA, and presents and going home with all the luxuries we’ve missed or stuff I didn’t realize was THAT expensive here and have just been doing without.
6-Gum– I don’t even like gum, but I’ve been dying for some strawberry bubble yum (bubblicious?) from CVS.
7-Knowing how to get places– I’m developing a rudimentary understanding of how to get places in SG, but at home I know the 5 ways to get to place X and which one is my favorite/the best at this time of day. I miss not being stupid about where stuff is in relation to where I am.
8-Free standing grocery stores/ movie theaters–I never thought I’d be the one to say it, but seriously if I never see another mall after SG, it will be too soon.
9-Crisp, cool weather.–I’ll be bitching about it within 2 weeks, but I can’t wait to wear jeans without sweating, and to need a jacket. I’m hoping to catch the last glimpse of fall colors, or to at least teach E about the joys of jumping into a pile of raked leaves and crunching them as we walk on the sidewalk. Fall is my favorite time of year, and while I have no real sadness about not being in New England in February and March of 2011, I really am bummed to be missing the apple picking, pumpkin carving, trick or treating, perfect 60 something degree days, and driving down a highway with the leaves in full color. I’m really upset I didn’t do the foliage photography day I kept meaning to take last fall.
10-Not feeling out of place–For all of my nerves about being out of step, I’m so looking forward to being in the US. Where people have the same cultural references, the same slang, all of that. Boston is home, and I’m dying to be back there.