More benefits to bilingualism
Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan
Well, now that the first week of classes back at NAU is over, I thought I’d list some things that I’ve encountered since being back in the states.
1. My ears still perk up at any mention of Arizona. Then I remember that I’m home and it’s not weird for someone to be mentioning it anymore.
2. I am sick and TIRED of airports, flying, small seats that don’t move, the smell of coffee, and ridiculous airline fees.
3. Getting organized with all the stuff I’ve acquired, and because of the sheer amount of times I’ve had to pack and unpack in the last year, is nearly impossible.
4. I want to talk about my experiences to anyone who will listen… but I understand that it probably gets annoying. But it was just amazing.
5. Going shopping for food is different. I can actually understand what I’m buying again. I’m also a lot more adventurous with trying new food.
6. I’ve got a permanent travel bug as a result of this experience. Yes, I hate the “getting there” part now, but it’s worth it once you actually make it there. So, my sister and I are planning a big trip to Europe for next summer. X (<—- Fingers crossed that it works out…)
7. I miss all the friends I made abroad so much. They are so diverse, interesting, smart, adventurous… It wouldn’t have been the same without them. They’re actually a huge part of the reason I want to go to Europe so bad.
8. Life is a lot quieter. I’m not constantly trying to go see (touristy) stuff, going out with friends, or traveling. It’s quite a shocking change.
9. Meeting people is different. I’m not immediately concerned with whether they speak English or not, or interested to know where they come from. Chances are, in Northern Arizona, they speak English, and they’re from either Arizona or California. Meh. At stores I never have to plan out exactly what I need to say if I need help. I just say it.
10. I never have to worry about what will happen if I run out of my favorite toothpaste or face wash. OR if something were to happen back home. Being only 2 hours away in Flagstaff really puts my worrisome mind at ease. Haha
11. I’m currently sitting on the couch in my family room watching a movie with my mom, and it really feels like no time has passed at all. I really can’t believe I went nearly a whole year (minus about 3 weeks) without seeing this house, or my family, my friends, my pets, or even just sitting here on this couch. Weird.
Mostly, I just want to go back to Korea. With all the friends I met in Japan. I’m glad things are back to normal. But it’s weird. Because things aren’t exactly normal. They’ve changed slowly under the surface, and I have to bring myself up to speed with nearly every aspect of daily life that I haven’t been concerned with during the last year. Movies, current events, politics, gossip, trivial drama… it’s all a part of life, and I missed it. But now I’m missing those very same things in the placed that I called home for a year of my life- Seoul, Nagoya, and Cayuga. But I wouldn’t trade this confusion for anything.
“If I count up the months that I’ve been sitting down here, it wouldn’t add up to the time I spent with you. Now divide up all the faults and all the boundaries, multiply the risk with pain… you can’t remove the stain.” -Magnolia Sons