CULTURAL FATIGUE

It creeps up slowly.  You likely won’t feel it right away, but over time it will start to occupy your thoughts.  Perhaps you do notice it, but simply brush it aside as just some unimportant desire.  It is less prominent during the times that you are busy; work is the great pacifier.  However, it is during the moments when you aren’t bust that it becomes unavoidable, when you have time to do nothing else other than ponder what is not there.  Often it is when you are trying to sleep that it is strongest, when there is nothing to distract you –  just you and your thoughts.  Laying in the darkness, trying to decide on what it is you miss the most, to narrow it down to that one thing that would cure you of the hunger, but knowing that it is the agglomeration of everything from back home that you wish for.

I miss the quiet streets of back home, with its organized traffic of cars that follow the rules of the road.  I miss the safety and security of my hometown, something that you cannot appreciate until you live somewhere where this is not the case.  I miss not having to lock the front door, not have to lock myself behind steel bars every night, like a prisoner of my own precautions.  I miss being able to walk home past 7pm and not once having to wonder if I will be brutally assaulted along the way.  I miss being able to blend into my surroundings, to not stand out in a crowd.  The eyes seem to always be upon me, glaring not with bad intentions, but rather just in a neutrally intentioned stare.

I miss the culture that I know back home: the music, the movies, the cafes, the clothing, the jokes, and everything in between.  But most of all, I miss my family and friends.  The people that I have grown up with, who know me better than I know myself; people with whom I don’t have to exert effort just to be around.  These are the people in which our relationships have stood the test of time, and that cannot be found anywhere else.

This is the paradox that I have chosen to live; to both want to be away and at home at the same time.  ‘Chosen’ is the wrong word to use, as my drive and passion, my professional aspirations requires that I do what I am doing, but that does not remove the fact that it is not an easy thing to do.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else then where I am now, doing the work that I am doing, having the experiences that I’m having.  With three months to go, I know that my other desires will only grow stronger, but I suppose that will only act to make my eventual return to Canadian soil that much sweeter.

To any one reading this; have a beer for me today and remind yourself why there is no place like home.

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