The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Two homes

Posted by thearrow on January 30, 2008

By now, I feel equally at home in Bucharest and in DC. This is not bragging, but rather just an observation. The interesting part is that, when I’m in Bucharest, DC disappears and the other way round. They are two parallel universes and I can only vaguely remember the distant one while I inhabit the other; I get too absorbed in the immediate reality. When I board the plane, particularly on the way back to DC, I feel like Harry Potter with his hand on a Portkey and a violent sensation of getting hooked by the stomach and pulled through a vortex. It’s still amazing to me how these two worlds can have nothing in common. Sometimes I think that I could perhaps use things I learned in DC if I have to return to Bucharest, but now I’ve started to doubt it. It’s not just that the countries/cultures are so distant from each other, but even I feel like two different persons, with two different sets of behavior! I think my surroundings make me become predominantly DC-like or Bucharest-like; yet, even if never 100% one way or another, it doesn’t feel like these two selves have ever made eye contact. I guess I’m some form of schizophrenic hybrid life :).

And maybe this is the only explanation I can conjure for the fact that so many things STILL haven’t changed in Romania (read “have not improved”) even though now Romanians travel, work, and live abroad in droves. You’d think people would want to bring some of the good things home, would try to make things better. But what if everybody feels just as schizophrenic? :-O

But to get back to feeling at home, the first couple of times when returned to DC I felt very lonely and out of place. Nothing of the kind this time (quite the contrary), which was going to be reinforced in the most unexpected, unassuming, and touching way. The next morning after I arrived the building manager knocks on my door. “I have some packages for you. I knew you were going to be gone and I kept them for you. Welcome home.”

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