I think my trip back to see my family just reminded me of how much I love them. When I got back I immediately fell into my first major fight with homesickness. Since then homesickness has been popping up more frequently. I’ve talked to a few study abroad veterans who say that there is usually a “what-in-the-world-am-I-doing-here-and-why-am-I-not-with-the-family-I-love” stage at around the 3-month mark, which is exactly where I am. So I am encouraged that this is normal and will pass.
In the meantime, it has been kinda funny to see the strange ways that homesickness manifests itself.
For one thing, I called my mommy on FaceTime at two o’clock in the morning last week just because I wanted to make sure she still existed there on the other side of the ocean.
For another thing, I’ve had the strangest urge to whistle the theme song to Disney’s Davy Crocket film every time I am walking in public. Please don’t ask.
And last but not least, I went to a coffee shop last week, fell in love with it completely and then adopted it as my new sanctuary and then pretended that I was the owner’s daughter (but shhh, the owners don’t know that part).
So yeah, I found this coffee shop. It is not fancy or hipster-hangouty like most of the awesome cafes around my uni. It has something more. The dear Welsh couple who run it are my new inspirations. The wife putzes about, making coffees and chit chatting away with anyone who seps through the door. The husband is much quieter, mozzying about sweeping floors and cleaning messes all while softly whistling to the tunes playing on the radio. Sometimes they call to each other in their thick Welsh accents.
“Love! Will you check the kettle?” The first time I went there I stayed the entire afternoon. I ordered a cup of sweet potato soup and a baguette. The sweet potato soup was one of the blandest things I’ve ever eaten. I mean it was plainer than plain sweet potatoes (how is that even possible?).
I parked myself on their couch and spread out all my study materials. I felt so comfortable that I took my shoes up and snuggled, using my jacket as a blanket. Once in a while I’d take a break from exploring 12th century Italy and Mongolia to watch students running in the rain through the cafe’s front window. I stayed til closing time. The husband let me into the back of the kitchen to use the staff bathroom before I left. I can’t wait to go back. I love finding new sanctuaries.
When I got home I realised that I had left one of my flashcards for communication class behind. Of all the flashcards I made, guess which one I left? The one about “taboo language”. All my plans of this sweet Welsh couple adopting me went sour when I realised that I left behind a notecard covered in the very worst of expletives.
Wow, Susanna. You certainly played that one off well didn’t you?
UPDATE: I found my questionably moral study card hidden at the bottom of my backpack nd thus returned to my fav new coffee shot today with a clean conscience : )