That place called home
Marsha just came home from her two week China trip. She really wanted to come home after the first week was over. A three day trip to CA made me miss Seattle, too. So I could relate to her. The day after I came back, I went rollerblading with Alan and we had to return early because it started raining. Half an hour later, the rain stopped and the setting sun laid a layer of gold dust on the Downtown buildings. Mom and I used to see this view all the time when we lived in our first one bedroom Wallingford apartment. She used to call it a mirage. Home is a place you’d appreciate regardless of what others think as bad… that Seattle rain has made all the sunshine glorious. (Why am I still talking about Seattle weather?)
As expected, Marsha didn’t like the second half of her trip, visiting relatives with her mother. The standard of living was poor, she exclaimed. This reminded me of my trip visiting my dad in China. It took a little getting used to the toilets, the noise, the people, the language, the hot and humid summer, smoggy air etc. But very quickly, things were more nostalgic and I coped with what was uncomfortable. That’s magic of a place called home. No matter how harsh or poor the conditions were, once it was home, it’d always be endearing. In my conversation with Reed, I accidentally offended him by ewwing over his favorite Dunkin donut breakfast. What sounded awful to me could be endearing to him because that’s what he grew up with in Michigan. (Well, at least I still think I have the right to complain because I’ve tried it. And ome on, who would want to clog his arteries with so much fat and sugar first thing in the morning?!) I wonder how most people would respond to my favorite breakfast in China, steamed rice flour crepe filled with ground pork and topped with red plum sauce.
I was looking online and found this Swedish couple driving through China. Amazingly, they traveled through two places that I would call home in China: Nanning and Duyun. They have some interesting experiences and pictures. My favorite is the pictures of people dancing in the streets in Nanning. My parents want to retire to Nanning one day. Home is a place where you’d always like to go back to, if not now, not the next month, but eventually.
For me, home is not just a place, but a place with people that I love. As much as I love Seattle, I feel the wind of changes upon me. It’s time to go and I have a whole summer to say good-bye to the city. I wonder if I will think of DC as home someday. It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. As Cary put it very well at dinner in Palo Alto, it’s really hard to make friends when you get older because you are pickier. I agree. Friendships are more meaningful when you are older, and you should be picky. It’s like finding a boyfriend… I’m no longer at the point of my life where I’d fall in love with the next cute guy the instance he walks past me. I am looking for that soul mate with whom we’d find resonating yet stimulating thoughts, mutual respect and admiration, ideals, inspiration, complement, and happiness.