Friday, October 14, 2005

Mythic Proportions

We're ten weeks from home. Ten weeks. We're distance and time, but mostly just time, away from home, and we're closing fast.

I've started to notice how "adjusted" I am to things here. It's the little things. The way phones ring, the way traffic and pedestrians move, how to discourage men from talking to you in the street, how to buy food, what yogurt tastes like, what's a fair price for coffee, how to stand when you hail a cab - they are automatic now, done/known without thinking.

And then I think of home and things come flooding in. The wall phone ringing in my mother's kitchen. Waiting for the green light at the white painted crosswalk. Smiling at people in the street and the shy smile they return. Supermarkets and price labels. Berry yogurt in ENORMOUS containers. A cupboard full of herbal teas. All the empty seats on city busses.

And all at once they seem mythic, out of proportion, remembered so clearly, and so distantly as to be a favorite passage from the Iliad that you know because you memorized. How can the ring or dial tone of a phone be mythic? But it is. Oh, it is. I remember it fondly, but I don't think of it as a thing to return to. It's just a thing past. Or a dream. And how do you walk out of "reality" and into a "dream"? It's not like moving abroad, to a place you've never been. There's no base, no perception, no memory there. It's new, fresh, confusing and overwhelming. But to go back...

Apprehension of reverse culture shock? Maybe. More like a one-way ticket to the fairy-tale of "before" and an excursion into a place my brain has labeled MYTHIC! What an adventure it will be!


At 11:10 p.m., Blogger A. said...

Hi Tiaral,

How is my country doing while I am in Canada !?

it is very interesting, I am in Toronto for an exchange program, and you are there... I hope you're enjoying it as much as I do...

I do agree with you about Ramadan, the way it is lived is far from what it should be...

enjoy your last days there...

At 11:05 a.m., Blogger Loren said...

Best of luck in our country (Tiara and Mine, that is).

As for enjoying it here, I think it's safe to say that on the whole we have. It's not as though the country has treated us poorly, or that we were so overwrought by the difference of it all that we couldn't enjoy it.

That said, it will be nice to be home again with family with friends with familiarity - if only to find that the familiar is a little less so, and if only for a short while.

Being from BC, we can't say a lot for Toronto, except that it's metropolitan, bustling, and devoid of our favourite mountains... But it's still Canada.

Again, good luck and thanks for the note!


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