This year has been absolutely insane for me. A winter in Oakville, a summer in Europe, a fall in Southeast Asia, and they expect me to “process” this with eloquence in a blog ten days after it’s all over. I honestly haven’t had the time to sit down and just rest in my thoughts these past ten days. What to say?
I find myself watching Asian waiters in restaurants, and noticing they have some of the same cultural tendencies that I picked up in SEA. I find myself still using small cultural tendencies that I picked up in Thailand. I find myself watching Canadians, and how disgusting some of our habits are. With the excessive spending at Christmastime and the leftover food getting thrown out, there is more to Christmas than that.
People keep asking me what the best part of my time is SEA was, or what I learned while I was there, and I find it hard to give them a twenty second answer, because, well, you’d have to read my entire journal and then look at all my pictures before you’d even BEGIN to understand what I saw and how I felt when I experienced these things.
I have noticed a change in myself since I got back. I spend more time listening and watching than I do talking; I’d rather hear about my friends’ past couple months than share about my own experiences. I’m quieter, I check myself in order not to culturally offend those around me. Things I was looking forward to when I came home have not fulfilled me now that I’m back; I no longer desire those things. What I desire is to be back in Thailand, or to be somewhere else, travelling, soaking in the culture around me, being a part of every single tree and person and market stand I pass by. I’m addicted to travel, the unknown, the adventure.
But I am here, in Oakville, in St. Stephen, and I cannot be placing my dreams and thoughts elsewhere for now. I hope I can slip back into culture here, back into 2011 with grace, but never to forget what I have learned and seen elsewhere.