Since the pages of this journal have been dedicated for so long to my time living in Japan, I have been a bit at a loss for what to put here since returning home. I don't feel much like writing about how it feels to be home again, actually; my emotions are disjointed, my impressions foggy. I don't feel so much re-entry culture shock so much as culture haze. Too much is familiar, and the most disappointing thing is that not enough has changed. So instead of writing about that, I've decided to occasionally journal about the America to which I've returned home, the same way I'd been journaling my time in Japan. It seems only fair that my friends in Japan and abroad (and hey, even any Americans reading this) see where I'm living and what I'm doing and who I'm hanging out with here in the States. My culture is as rich and strange as Japan's. Sometimes I think we Americans forget to look around at our own oddities.
So for this first entry, I give you some pictures of where I'm living, the roads I'm driving, and a couple of the first friends and loved pets I saw upon my return.
Coming home from Niles, the nearest sort of city, more of a suburb really, like where I was living in Japan, this is the road that leads home for me once the housing developments and malls and superstores disappear and the farmland begins to take over.
On either side of the road, fields and more fields, and my favorite farmhouse in the distance, behind the line of trees in the first photo. There's beautiful garden up there, with a rose trellis, and benches to sit under. A big family lived there when I was a kid, and I used to want to live there. I've always developed crushes on big families for some reason; I suppose perhaps it's because my own brothers and I are far apart in years; by the time I was even in fifth grade my oldest brother was already moved out and living on his own. I always wanted a big rollicking family in a big rollicking house, where we all fought but got over it and loved each other intensely. Those families seemed like they had it made.
A corner of my uncle and aunt's place at the other end of the road where my mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and brothers and their families and now I, too, live.
My friend Brooke
My Cat Hobbes (and his bear)