*FYI: This post was looong overdue.
I think this is the worst feeling in the world: to go home and realise you feel like a complete stranger.
It’s been two weeks since I returned to Mauritius, my home country, definitively. I had said my goodbyes in Malaysia, knowing that I may not go back there anytime soon. The last weeks spent with my friends were a blast; for once, I spent my money like I was really on vacation (after being on a student budget for so long!).
My first week in Mauritius was not too bad, mainly because I did go back for about a month in October and also because I immediately started working.
The homesickness didn’t come all at once or in full-force. It came gradually, like a wave. It comes into little cracks, cracks you don’t know about. It starts when I catch myself checking Instagram less and less, fearing that I’ll miss my ‘old life’. It is here when Saturday comes and all of my close friends are abroad. On Friday nights.
I feel it in the streets, where I’m the odd one, while I was part of a majority only a few weeks ago. I see it when nothing catches my eye at the clothing store. And I lose my sh*t when I take the bus because there is no Uber or rapid train. Gotta start driving! (Sigh I also miss Singapore! The car-less life.)
Where are the colourful hairstyles? The cosplayers at the mall? The K-pop addicts? Where is Family Mart or 7/11? Can I eat some good Japanese food?
Can I get some absinthe with my drink?
Okay, maybe it was not so dramatic. I did feel out of place, but I’m adapting quickly. The Mauritian coins I used to find heavy and obscenely big now feel normal in my hands. Most importantly, Rs.1000 is NOT RM1000!
My French is (hopefully) getting better. I do, however, still feel confused several times when my brain tricks me into thinking that I’m surrounded by English-speaking people (no, brain, nope.).
More than 2 weeks in…
I’m feeling it less and less. It’s still a struggle to get back to my routines, but that’s only because I am constantly moving, constantly working… Life isn’t so bad at all. I’m reconnecting with my younger self by getting back to the piano, making her proud by having a pretty creative job, which involves writing.
I’m awed by the tropical beauty of Mauritius, the forests and the beaches. I’m swimming in the sea again…
The only difference the years made is I am no longer afraid to be myself. I’m no longer scared to assert my super Asian style and be a ‘weirdo’. I still think I have to work a bit more on my shyness, but people do think I’m outgoing, so I guess I improved on that too.
So am I still homesick? Maybe a bit, because my love for Asian/Chinese culture is still there and that’s what’s lacking here. But it’s okay. Here, I found new things to love.
D. K. Waye.