The City No Longer Forsaken

"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." ~Isaiah 62:12

Friday, April 10, 2009

Across the Pacific

Today I am blogging from my old bed in my old basement room. And let me tell you, it is *strange* to be in America after two and a half solid years of not being here. There's this almost mystical familiar air to everything...while at the same time the whole place feels foreign. Getting into the airport in Seattle didn't feel so different from getting into the airport in Kolkata, India for my trip a year and a half ago.

A lot of little shallow things are shocking...

I keep looking at streets and wondering what happened to the houses in between the other houses...and then I remember that houses were always that far apart in the States.

It feels weird to tear toilet paper without the flap over the top of the roll.

Remembering that it's normal not to be able to see anything above the trees.

I also panic when my mom makes right hand turns and there are cars coming at us in the left lane.

I spent a solid 30 seconds searching for the part in the wrapping on a box of chocolates that I could pull open before remembering that it's everything in *Japan* that is easy open, not in America.

I really keep wondering where all the people are.

Leaving Denver International Airport, I wondered where the city was.

When I arrived in Denver, it was 71 degrees. On the road home to Wyoming, it was 31 degrees with blowing snow and ice. The mountains were gorgeous!

Cheese is NOT a priceless commodity and does not need to be rationed.

We have a dishwasher!!!

Beds are *really* soft.

People say, "Hi, how are you?" when you walk into gas stations.

Seattle did not look green from the airport.

My dog is *really* big. But he still remembers me! We're now fighting about who's going to be boss. ;-)

Some things are exactly the same. My church is started a prayer vigil last night that will go until tonight, and after the Maundy Thursday service I stood with a guy who was shaking in his socks about his half hour prayer time. I got to meet the woman at church who is running the prayer vigil and she said how everyone was really freaking out, but she had a guide for them to pray and knew they would realize the half hour slots were really short, and get really blessed by it besides.

Anyway...this is the shallow stuff. The deeper stuff will take me a few more days of mulling over...but for now, I am back in the States, and feeling rather displaced.


fletch said...

Hi Pamela,
We haven't met, but I found your blog by tracing back the links to, which I am working on updating at the moment. I LOVED reading this post! I am glad you put it to "paper" (well SORT OF like paper...) This stuff is not insignificant. It is part of your journey. Keep writing your observations. It is good reading...coming from one who has cross cultures a number of times and is STILL trying to figure out how to be American again after about 18 months!

jsincj said...

OHHHHHHHHH I want to sleep in a soft bed.... can I join you for one night?
Love youra

Peter Edstrom said...

Welcome back!

mlinden said...

Blessings Pamela! I have no idea how I'll survive my return to North America. I'm sure it'll be here before I know it. I don't know if you realized this, but this Hongo thing is kinda fun;-) I'm already thinking of incentives to leave, it will be so hard. This last week has been too fun. I hope you begin to adjust sooner than later. Just remember to keep it all in perspective. Your immediate tendency may be to glorify Japan, but no place is better than the other. I keep reminding myself as I get really patriotic for the good ol' red white and blue. Peace, and God's blessings! Let me know if you need anything (under 30,000 of course). Thanks again for everything!