I’m not quite sure what to write about my short trip to America. A lot of my friends and family read this blog, and well, I don’t want to insult them or make them feel like I was unhappy to see them. (Because I wasn’t. I was very glad to see everyone again.)
Look, this trip was doomed from the start. The fact is that I wasn’t even supposed to go back to America this summer. I only did it because of the divorce and us having to clean out all our stuff from our home to sell it. So I knew I had to deal with that (and all the problems associated with it.)
What I didn’t know was I would have to deal with a tooth issue. Only a few days into my trip I felt a pulsing pressure in my mouth every time I chewed. It quickly morphed into 2 rounds of antibiotics, 4 bottles of painkillers, a filing, the most retched root canal ever performed (which I am not taking about) and three trips to the dentist without any clear resolution.
It wasn’t an issue of “chewing on the other side of my mouth” as everyone kept trying to tell me. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even open my mouth to talk, much less chew on the non affected side. The pain was so bad that whatever went into my mouth tasted like ash and it was a real chore to get anything down. Even ice cream. The pain was so bad at times that I couldn’t even focus on my friends as they talked. I also couldn’t sleep at night.
I basically came to eat American food and see people, and this tooth problem ruined pretty much everything for me. I also left New Hampshire feeling terribly guilty because I was such a bad guest. I was looking forward to spending a lot of time with a few friends, but instead I woke up grumpy, was out all day at the dentist, and went to bed early without eating much of the amazing homemade food they cooked for me.
But, I should be fair. I had about 5 days before my tooth started bothering me and I wasn’t really having that much fun anyway. I don’t know if it’s a case of reverse culture shock or what, but I felt completely out of sorts the entire trip. Like I was 2 inches off the ground. (And no, I’m not taking about the feeling I had when I was taking percocet.)
Here’s the thing I realized: I no longer belong in America. I’m not sure I ever did. I don’t ‘belong’ in china either, but here, there is no pressure to fit in. I look different, I speak different, no one is ever going to treat me like a native. But in America I should fit in. I’m one of them. But I certainly didn’t feel like it this time.
There’s also the fact that while I arrived as a resident, I left as a visitor. We cleaned up our stuff, packed up the house, and while I consider New Hampshire my hometown, technically I have no home there any longer. (Well, I won’t once it sells. Anyone want a amazing house in a small town in New Hampshire?) Practically speaking, nothing’s changed, I am still a New Hampshire resident. But mentally, every things changed. It’s not mine anymore. It’s now just a place where I have a lot of friends.
I don’t want to be a total Debbie downer. I was happy to see my friend, really, even if I couldn’t really share a meal with them or focus on what they were saying at times. I also marveled at how pretty America was. And how clean and fresh everything was.
Anyway, instead of writing any nitty gritty details I thought I’d share just a few pictures. America, one day I might want to return to you, but don’t expect that day to come anytime soon.