I expected to be confused, excited and a bit nervous when I boarded my plane to Cuernavaca on June 21st. After all, I was venturing into foreign territory, a foreign culture I knew very little about. What I wasn't prepared for was how I would feel when I returned to my own country.
As my taxi took me to the bus station on the morning I left Cuernavaca, tears stung the corners of my eyes. I took pictures of the streets, the mountains and the city from the mountains in a last ditch effort to hold onto the memories and places that had lodged in my heart. In the Mexico bus station and airport, I worried about having enough Spanish to catch my rides. Luckily the people at the bus station spoke enough English to help me and the announcements were in both English and Spanish at the airport.
Arriving back in the United States was both wonderful and unnerving. As I made my way through customs, I found myself answering questions in Spanish. Plus, I was confused by the English speaking airport workers. Even now, four days later, I still feel like I'm in limbo. For example, I stop before I flush the toilet, looking for the bucket on the floor close by, before I remember I'm in the States. I set the TV on the Spanish channels and I'm oddly relaxed. I think of something and then translate it into Spanish in my head to share with my Mexican family. I imagine it will take me some more time to get used to being back in my own country. In the meantime, here are some other observations:
1. I missed air conditioning
2. I miss walking around the city for whatever I need.
3. I miss the steady, soothing rains we had through the nights.
4. I missed my fruit. Yes, I got WONDERFUL fruit with my Mama Mexicana, but I missed all the fruit I love to have in the house.
5. I missed cold milk on my cereal.
6. I miss the urgent need to speak Spanish.
7. I miss mi familia Mexicana.