“You’ll be back. I’m giving you a few months until I see you in Asia again,” my friend said to me as we shook hands and parted ways.
The one constant question that I have incessantly received isn’t the one asking whether I miss living overseas or what country would I love to return to. Nor has anyone asked me if I miss the various exotic foods or unique culture. Believe it or not, not a single soul has asked me if I miss the way my life used to be on foreign soil. Kinda strange, if you ask me. Those are the typical questions that I expect to receive.
Without fail, roughly twice a day I am asked by friends and some family alike, ‘why I chose to come back home… a.k.a America’.
Just the other day I was sitting in the back seat of my friends new car. It looked and smelled like a Dodge Durango. In my opinion certain new cars have distinct smells. During my college days as a valet I was able to develop a weird ability to recognize cars by their smell. This aroma that my nose was inhaling was undoubtedly a Dodge of some sort.
We were on our way to the ‘SRC’ to play some basketball. The SRC is the student recreational center at Arizona State University and it just underwent some seriously renovating. “How long has it been since you’ve been to Tempe,” my friend asked. “Man, at least 7 years,” I reply as I realize how fast time flies. The side streets and alley ways that I used to take to class were no longer recognizable. “Remember this place?” my friend asked. “Umm, wasn’t that place…uh, I don’t know,” I said. “Haha, that used to be your dorm,” he said as he chuckled. “No way! All those memories I created in that place and now it’s a freaking parking garage,” I say in a somber voice. I was quickly realizing that things were different. The people whom which I associated with were now either married or married with children of their own. Places I ate at were no longer in familiar locations. I was gone for quite some time. It would have been foolish of me to expect life to pause and wait for my return.
“I’ve been meaning to ask you, why did you come back,” my friend asks. There had been a silence in the car for the last minute or so. Ostensibly, we were all admiring the plethora of new ASU facilities or perhaps we were preparing our minds to win some basketball games at the newly remodeled gym.
I took a deep breath simply because yet again I was confronted with this question. My spirit knows the reasons why I returned home, however, formulating this response into words was something that I did not know how to do. The SRC was coming up on our left and in a matter of seconds we would be out of the car and lacing up our shoes. My friend who was in the drivers seat looked up and peered into the rear view mirror. This time he wasn’t checking to see if any cars were behind him. He was curious to find out what was distracting me from answering the simple question that he had just asked. “Did you hear what I said?” he asked. “Yeah yeah, I’m just trying to figure out how to answer it,” I replied with a look of bewilderment.
Why I came back… (check back in later:)