WARNING: This post is going to include a lot of math, but DON’T BE SCARED! I know what you are thinking, “I am not a math person… HELP!”
The following are math people:
As you noticed, I am not in this group, nor is your former classmate who got A’s in every math class without breaking a sweat. The difference is that we are simply not afraid of numbers and neither should you. Release that fear! Okay done? Let’s continue.
Going back anywhere after three years feels kind of weird. You think you know a place, but whether the locals notice or not, things change a lot in that time. Going back to your home country after that amount of time is stranger still.
A few days ago, I arrived in Southern California after being abroad for three consecutive years. Part of me feels home, but another part of me feels like I am visiting a foreign country. Sure, I have a lot of friends and family here, but truth be told, I feel a lot more comfortable in the streets of Seoul than in any part of the greater LA area. I always thought that it was the foreign factor of South Korea that appealed so much to me, but maybe now, the exact opposite is true.
I’ve only been here a few days, but there are already some observations I’ve made. Most of them are not really positive or negative, simply different or things I hadn’t noticed before that have given me a sense of mild reverse culture-shock:
I finished a deep cleaning of my bathroom yesterday night and took out the kitchen today…
More than a week away from going back home for the first time in three years, but from the looks of this place, you’d think I’d be gone by tomorrow.
“Your mind must already be checked out” is something I have gotten about a dozen times this week, and quite frankly, they have every right to assume so given the evidence.
The only problem? I am hardly homesick at all!
Living abroad for the last four years has given me some perspective into what really matters to me (more on this soon). While I miss my friends and family as much as anyone else in my position, I am trying to understand the psyche of people who would give up their entire lives for the chance to live in the so called “land of the free.” No, I don’t miss ‘freedom’ or the ‘right to speak my mind.’ Contrary to popular belief, you have both of these in plenty of countries. Here is, however, a short list of things that I do miss about America, and more importantly, Southern California: