Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Leaving

So here it is: all good things must come to an end. Our time in Singapore is almost up, and soon we’ll be on to bigger and better things back in New Jersey. People have asked us how we feel about leaving: sad? excited? But truthfully, all we have time to feel is...busy. Two weeks from today, our cat leaves for his first journey across the world. (He’ll fly west, through Amsterdam.) Five days later, we’ll follow him (although we’ll fly east). We’ve taken this 19-hour flight before, but this time our tickets are one-way.

The company tells us movers will pack us, move us, and cause our stuff to appear magically on the other side—so what do we have to worry about? Clearly they don’t know what it’s like to undertake an international move. Sure, there’s the usual closing of accounts and sorting of stuff that accompanies any move. But running interference on logistics with two countries—while trying to say goodbye to our current “home” country, and hello to a home country that no longer feels exactly like home—we’re essentially living two lives at the same time. (Three, if you count our rapidly accelerating work life.)

This pressure cooker has gotten to us in various ways; Joey’s pulling regular all-nighters, and I’ve already had a nasty run-in with a parking pillar. (I swear, it moved.) To be sure, that last one was just waiting to happen, what with Singapore’s narrow and curvy basement car parks. But still.

Among the loose ends to tie up, what will happen to the blog? I’m not sure. If other expats’ reports are to be believed, once we return to the States, our time abroad is socially expected to become a hazy dream we remember only to each other. Once we’re back, we’ve heard, people in our home country won’t want to hear about the amazing people we met in Singapore or our trips to inspiring places. Instead, apparently, we’d do better to confine our conversation to our state, our hometown, preferably our neighborhood. Something everyday. Something “relatable.” Which makes sense, of course.

And yet, having spent the last two years fitting the whole world into our heads, how can we shut it out?


jima said...

Good luck with the move and the transition!
As far as the "forgetting" part, I wouldn't worry about that too much. At first, everyone will be excited to see you and hear about it, but after a while you'll start to recognize that people stop being as interested in some of the topics, so it'll feel strange to bring them up.
Oh, and the biggest change I noticed was the amount of travel that was "normal". Sort of had to recalibrate that most people here haven't been to a foreign country in the last few years, much less months/days, much less 3 of them on separate trips in the last month. That just seemed so normal there. :)

Good luck again with the move, and I hope you're finding a way to sell off those appliances! Don't bring them back! :)

Mom said...

You should blog a bit during your first year back in the "wild west" so you can describe what the transition is like.

We wouldn't have missed our visit with you in southeast Asia for anything. It was wonderful, and who knew it was so close to your return home!

ike said...

good riddance.