This happens every time I leave a Place, “This” being the abrupt switch from griping about menial things (“the weather sucks!” “these people are irrelevant!” “my cat knocked over my coffee AGAIN!”) to the agony of knowing how much you will miss them (“I love rain!” “I sure will miss that Gary guy who stands on the corner and mutters anti-Semitic slurs!” “but Abe is just so CUTE when he knows he’s bein’ naughty!”) It’s the natural order of things, I guess!
Preemptively, too, I’m emotionally readying myself for culture shock (hate this term and find it monolithic and insulting. “Adjustment” is better, maybe?), which sounds stupid when you know that I’m going to a place that I counted as “Home” for a really long time, but really isn’t when you’ve just started to get comfortable in new, very different spaces.
Last time I was in Cairo, I wrote in my journal about what I missed the most about America, and I imagine that a lot of what I will miss in the coming months will be more of the same: wearing short dresses and short shorts, burritos, American music, American Breakfast, good beer, good cheese, good coffee, but also there are bigger things, mostly People and Conversations and (most of all) my Cats. I will miss my back porch, I will miss my neighborhood haunts terribly, I will miss having a mom just across the river….
&C.. You see. There’s not enough time for me to list all the menial things that I have gotten sentimental about (My corner store! My bus route!). The inevitability of movement, mobility is that you’re never really sure just how heavily the costs outweigh the benefits, and that you’re moving so fast that you cannot really ever know.
Though I do hope I will return to a place where I can wear short shorts, short dresses Very Soon. Wearing jeans in 90 degrees will never, ever be optimal.