I just came back from a month long trip in The Philippines, I’ve actually been back in Budapest almost two full weeks now, but I now just found the time to open my notebook and write something down. Anyway remember when we first arrived here in Hungary? I was lamenting leaving behind my Dog Jeopardy, and so I went home to go and get him.
It was always the plan to bring him along, but as I mentioned before, flying a dog to a different continent takes some time, especially when you are flying him to Europe, where EU regulations can be quite strict. I did learn a lot during the course of this adventure, but most importantly, our little nuclear family has officially been completed.As far as homecomings go, it was both stressful and at the same time quite wonderful. Stressful because, it wasn’t exactly a vacation. There were several errands and necessary dealings that needed to be addressed, adult-ing responsibilities, pressed within a time-frame, mixed in with urban setbacks (like heavy traffic and congestion), jetlag, and the constant nag of all the other things that is still waiting for you when you get back from your trip.
Most notable of this left-behind chore, is that three days before I left, all our stuff that we shipped from Manila arrived. So I basically left the house with half a dozen moving boxes unopened, and a thousand other things that I needed to sort out.
But of course, homecomings, no matter how stressful it can get, is still always wonderful, simply because its home. I have of course long known that as trailing spouse, my home is wherever JG is, and that means wherever he is posted. But in this case, home takes on a different semiotic definition in a sense that it’s the ultimate comfort zone and the familiar. Budapest has been great so far, and getting to know it is still exciting. But I couldn’t really deny missing being in a place where you understand, completely, everything that is happening around you; the conversations, contexts, even its complexities.
When we were in Muscat, the transition wasn’t as challenging because it was a city that strives with its expatriates. Here in Budapest, as welcoming and kind its citizens are, being a foreigner is ever felt, simply because it is a place for its locals, its language, what is available, and its workings is understandably for the Hungarians. Which is why, it was kind of nice to get to be part of something I belong with, even for just a little while.
Another thing good that came out of coming home, was touching base with people. I guess it came with age and maturity but after staying in Manila for two years and then leaving again, I realized that doesn’t matter if you are near each other or is living in different time zones keeping in touch takes some true effort, and it should come from both sides.
I used to think that because I was the one that up and left, the responsibility of keeping contact with loved ones rests entirely up to me. But nowadays I think that those whom your presence in their lives really matter to them, will look out for you, will want to see you, or talk to you, or at the very least read your blog. I’m being really honest here, with all the technology that we have today, I can only really recall a few who actually drop a message, say hi, and ask how I am doing living far away in a foreign place.
But I digress. It was really great to be able to see and spend time with family and good friends. Curtain hunting with my Mom, ethical and philosophical conversations with my brother over McDonalds pancakes, binge watching Master Chef Australia with my favorite Aunt, singing “My Favorite Things” with my closest friends at the backseat of their car, with their little four year old in the lead, sitting-in to a class I’m not officially enrolled in, long overdue heart to heart with a cousin while getting expensive regretful hair treatments. These make-up most of the highlights of my recent trip.
Especially those whom you have drifted away from over the course of leaving for posting, and it was really heartwarming to know, that it wasn’t just you who missed them, and even though you might not get the chance to catch up again for a long while, reconnecting isn’t as difficult as you would think, if you really want to do it.
Back here in our home in the Buda hills, the European summer is starting to take its leave and the autumn chill’s presence is beginning to be felt. One interesting note is that our neighbors are also chucking out old stuff that has seen better days. The sidewalks has started to pile with almost everything you can imagine, everything, even the kitchen sink.And while most of the stuff is already junk to its previous owners, people from all walks of life, take time to survey the remnants of the piles and see what they can find that may still be of use to them. Not wanting to be left behind, JG and I would also take a while to see what we can rummage. The husband was kind of hoping to find some rare comic books lying around, but I was just casually watching out for a pleasant surprise. And sure enough we didn’t have to look far when we spotted a nice little chair right outside the front lawn of our next door neighbor. It has seen its better days, but with a little soap, baking soda, vinegar, and elbow grease I now have a not so shabby chic wardrobe chair. So this is me so far, how are you? If you’re reading this, thanks, drop me a line, I’m probably missing you too.