We arrived home last Friday (on 11/11/11!). Adjusting back has been somewhat easier than expected – a 21-hour time difference between CA and NZ sounds horrible, but when you realize our days are in 24 hour cycles… this means our bodies only have 3 hours of adjusting to do in terms of the time of day (aside from the fact that we gained a day, but in terms of sleep that doesn’t matter). It’s a bit rough to get back into the daily grind though, just as it usually is after a vacation.
We’ve really enjoyed spending time with family and friends again…
I jotted down some of my first impressions upon returning to the US:
1. Why is everything on the right-hand side?? Cars, escalators, people walking on the sidewalk… it is so odd for that to feel weird to me but it does! Getting used to driving on the left, looking that way before crossing the street, passing people on that side of the sidewalk, etc., was something that happened so subtly that I didn’t even notice it, but now that I’m back it was the first thing I noticed. And it has been the hardest thing to get used to again. I didn’t drive much in Australia, so driving hasn’t been very hard for me, it’s when I’m walking or running on the sidewalk that I keep almost running into people because I instinctively veer to the left instead of the right.
2. Our condo is HUUUUUUUGE! Each room has a big empty space in the middle of it, AFTER all the furniture is already in the room… I didn’t realize how accustomed I’d become to the tininess of our apartment in Sydney.
3. Naomi has SO many toys! Way more than she needs. Interesting.
4. I feel very mixed up about seasons and weather. Yes, chill and rain should be appropriate for mid-November, but I just came from fresh spring. Even though that felt wrong too, this feels strange as well. It’s like nothing feels right!
5. What happened to all our daylight?? Suddenly darkness is falling by 4 pm or something ridiculous like that, and it is taking all of us by surprise. The days had been growing longer and longer in the Southern Hemisphere, so it was weird to have everything suddenly snap to almost-winter.
6. It feels nice not to be a stranger anymore. Not that I see someone I know every time I walk into Target or something, but there are people nearby who know and love us. We belong here. Even the fact that we are citizens feels different. The Aussies we came across were so incredibly welcoming to us, but there is a sense of identity coming from inside of myself that is different here than it was there.
7. I don’t exactly feel jet-lagged. More like jet-fuzzed. This is gradually getting better, but especially the first few days we were back, everything felt so hazy and off. A sandwich? At 4 pm? Why not. Naomi getting zucchini bread with almond butter for dinner? Sure. The soft gray weather only added to the fuzzy effect.
All in all, it’s good to be home.