I suppose that for the rest of my life I will feel torn. It had been 15 years since I’d lived in Taiwan and after the haze of being in a different country passed, I had a feeling that I didn’t expect: the feeling of being home. I miss the busy city. I miss weaving my way through crowds. I didn’t anticipate buying clothes on our trip, but it became quickly apparent that the clothes there fit me better. I didn’t even try things on – just bought them off the rack and wore them. But now we’re back. Our house (which is a normal size) seems super spacious. I drove to the grocery store yesterday and kept thinking I’d like to get a shopping cart and walk there since it really isn’t that far away and that’s what we’ve been doing for a month anyway.
I’m feeling torn. I miss living where I grew up. Yet I feel incredibly blessed by all the things we have here, but there were so many things I didn’t miss when we were gone. Like the house. And the car. And it doesn’t help that within minutes of landing in Texas my sinuses were stuffed up due to allergies. I had a month of free and clear breathing.
It took me a week to have the guts to really speak in Chinese. Two weeks to get really comfortable speaking again. It was good to see old friends, to have a place to stay. To learn to dry fry beans (totally delicious, btw). To see my kids flourish in a new place. To have my son say over and over again how much he LOVED dinner at a restaurant we found up the street. To watch their excitement at taking the metro and high-speed rail. It was wonderful to see how much the city had changed – how much cleaner it was and how metropolitan in felt.
I have no complaints about our life here. If God has a plan for us to move, he will have to drop an opportunity in our lap.
I did get a chance to fabric shop. Surprisingly, Japanese fabric in Taiwan is not much cheaper than in the US. I found this beautiful piece at a quilt shop that I walked to. It was 2 miles away and totally worth the walk. Plus I got exercise so no complaints there.
I found several crafty magazines. Some local and some Japanese magazines that were translated into Mandarin. I had originally planned to give them away, but after looking at them, I decided it would be better to purchase some duplicates so I could keep them for myself.
One of my goals in going to Taiwan was to let the kids appreciate how people in another part of the world live. I think that goal was accomplished, partially. It probably won’t stick unless we go regularly as they grow up. I have a huge dislike of long plane rides, but it was worth it. One surprising result of our constant grocery shopping in Taiwan was that when I asked them to help me get the grocery bags out of the car yesterday, they ran to come help without complaining. Big smiles over here.