So I have finally arrived ‘home’. For much of the trip to here, I was actually surprised how there was any lack of feeling. I don’t know whether this is because I know I’m only going to be here two weeks, or whether this place has at least temporarily ceased to be what it once was in my mind.
The former has some weight in my mind. There’s no point in getting worked up about being ‘home’, as I’m really not going to be here long. The fact that I have been on more planes in the past five years than I had been on my entire life previous (which wasn’t too hard to top, as I had only been on a ‘big plane’ once before), has partially dulled my senses to travel. It’s a regular part of life for me at the moment. Being in places of previous great emotional attachment (‘home’ and Jogja as the most recent examples) also doesn’t seem to have the same buzz as it once did. I think being 2 years in Jakarta has more or less made it my temporary home in my mind. I’m the kind of person who honestly doesn’t like changing my residency a lot, but if I do have to, I eventually end up establishing pretty strong roots there.
The latter factor of this place, ‘home’, not being what it once was is also having a strong effect on my mind. I look at it now. Some people have moved to another city, another state, even another country (like me). Its not like the days of old where Friday night was a good gathering of regulars. So few of the regulars now exist in this place. This place is not the place I remember from five years ago, and thats the natural way of things.
This is in contrast to Indonesia and in Jakarta everything is fresh and as it should be. My wife is with me at home. My friends at the office are all there every day. My neighbours in the kos are always around for a chat. I have Friday prayers as normal (now). Bulan puasa is coming up in the future. It’s been my world of the past few years, and if anything it has become a picture of the world as it should be for me.
The main reason I’m here is to find out about the possibility of employment here. Should I end up getting a job here, it is inevitable I will (at least for the time being) return to here. I will need to re-find home all over again, and while I’m sure I will be able to, it will nonetheless take some time. If anything this trip is opening my eyes to that fact. All those charts which we always saw at volunteer briefing sessions and even on ACICIS about the original home sickness of moving to a different country (which I didn’t really experience all that much as I managed to effectively counter it), and the reverse sickness of returning home really do exist. Though its not so much about how leaving the place which you have come to (temporarily) call home, as much as it is also about how much your ‘old home’ has changed.