Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back again

We're back in Izmir, after 10 days in Geneva. So how was it? Being home was, well... a bit unlike being home.

Of course, we we're in Geneva and it was great to see friends and family and just, well, be in a place you know, and have not been in for a few months. Familiarity is sometimes so wonderful.

It was appeasing to understand all that was going on around us; it's as if my brain, having muted all the incomprehensible conversations around me for four months, was suddenly fully "on", bordering on overload, like being solicited from all directions because it could grasp the meaning of every word around me - luckily this did not last long! I loved every minute of being able to fluidly and quickly maneuver through minor traffic and get anywhere in less than 20 minutes, appreciated being serviced with a smile and helpful attitude, enjoyed a delicious week-end pizza at our usual week-end hang out, walked about in the sun on the lake side, basked in the beautiful greens of the fields and trees... Yet, it felt different than when we were living there. My perspective had changed. I observed people in the streets, new cafés and shops, and noticed things I hadn't paid attention to before. I had not participated in Geneva's life for four months, but it felt like I had been away for at least a year.

It was not exactly like being home 'cause after a day rushing around seeing friends and family, we didn't have our home to go back to, not our car/scooter, nor our noisy neighbor Jean to mumble about. (I do not miss his yelling against his kids, but still, it was part of our life during our last months in Vandoeuvres). I'm not complaining. It was wonderful to stay with A. and her hospitality and kindness were absolutely first-rate. Wonderful to have dinner with the girls, and I enjoyed every lunch, coffee, dinner, and walk... but it was weird being home and yet feeling that home was no longer truly there.

Izmir from the plane

I guess, this is actually a good thing; while we don't yet feel 100% at home here, arriving at the airport and driving back, certainly felt less foreign. I even had a few people to call this time and some who called me. It was nice to pick up Balou in great shape and find our home with all our things in it, spotlessly clean, as Hamide, our wonder-cleaning lady had come by. I actually enjoyed doing a big food shop and filling our fridge knowing that there are a few added ingredients and spices I brought back with me, which will make for enjoyable more-like-home meals. My mind filled with fresh Geneva sights and impressions and finding Izmir practically as green as Geneva, now that the sun is less scorching hot, was a rewarding reminder that home is where you make it.

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