Home Towns

I wrote this in response to someone’s question about my hometown.


I currently live in Stamford, CT, USA. I came here in 2013 in order to be with my husband. He’d moved here in 2012 for work.

Our favorite restaurant changes with the season. Currently it’s Dinosaur BBQ. We don’t really have a favorite anything else because Stamford is not really our scene.

We go to the movie theatre a lot; and there are 2 Cineplex theatres here. Our favorite of the 2 is the one in the mall because it’s not as shabby.

We spent a lot of time at the Stamford Nature Center one year in Spring, now we spend our weekends up North a bit at a new State park we found.

I see this one bus driver, Charlie, a lot. He’s always cheerful. Doesn’t have that, “I hate my job” vibe that most bus drivers have. he talks too much though.

I see this other bus driver, I call him Parrot guy because I think he has a parrot. He constantly has a scar over his nose and it always looks like it’s a new scar. I’ve taken his bus for 6 months now, and the wound always heals a bit and then looks fresh again. I’m sure he probably doesn’t have a parrot and it might be some other story; but I’d like to think he has a grumpy parrot who pecks him and he’s grumpy back.

He used to be grumpy whenever I saw him, but I started smiling and asking him how his day was all the time. He started smiling back, and whenever he saw it’s me boarding the bus, he’d laugh and say “hey!” I hope I’ve made his day a little better.

I don’t like living here, to be honest. We’re planning to move to Australia at one point, which I’m really looking forward to.

Before we came here, we lived in Vancouver. There are countless interesting things to do in Vancouver that it would take a whole hour just to write them out.

Before that, I lived in Taipei, Taiwan (where I was born). My favorite restaurant there was this chain steak house; because they have unlimited free soda. My brother and I once went in there with a paper cup and filled up on our way home from elementary school; the waitress chased us out. Free soda was for paying customers only.

In Taipei, we lived by this huge river with a dam. We took walks along the dam most nights after dinner. We’d walk up to the skate park and our aunt would teach us how to roller skate. Lots of great memories from there, too.

Like the time I took in a stray puppy (snuck it in my back pack, kept it at school, then took it home with me) and hid it in my closet for a whole week. I moved it to my brother’s closet at one point because I was afraid it would poop on my clothes. It ended up pooping on his jacket. That’s when we moved the puppy into a card board box in our room (with the help of our aunt).

It took a whole week before Dad found the puppy. He then helped us construct a more secure box. A couple days later, Mom found out, and that was the end of keeping Puppy. Mom didn’t like animals, so we had to return it back to the wild.

In Taipei, in the 90’s, there were A LOT of stray dogs roaming about. I think animal control back then wasn’t very well funded.

I always get stumped by the Home Town question, because I have two. I have childhood memories from Taipei and Vancouver. Then when we include where I live now, or have lived, then there’s a lot more.

I used to hate moving around. I felt displaced a lot and never felt like I belonged. Since I’ve met my husband, I’ve come to enjoy it. I think my mind has re-centered what it thinks of as “home” to just “husband”. Now it feels like it doesn’t really matter where we live; it feels like home as long as we’re there together.

Back From the Land Down Under

I’m back, and yet I’m not.

Jamie and I spent 3 weeks in Australia visiting with family, and I loved all of it. I fell in love with his family, who accepted me as part of them, now that we’re married.

What I remember, most of all, is what Jamie’s father kept saying to me the summer before this last. Summer 2013 was when we last visited them. Jamie and I wouldn’t be married until mid 2014, and we weren’t yet headed in that direction.

I eat slow, and so did Jamie’s dad. Each time this was brought up, Rod would look up at me meaningfully, and say, “I’m glad to have another slow eater in the family.” That meant so much to me. I fell in love with their family then.

Now that we came back, we can both feel the loss of family. We don’t enjoy living here in America. We love each other very much, yet we also realise we need other people in our lives. Other people who love us and who we love.

So we’re planning. We’re going to get ourselves home. Soon. It’s not easy, but we know we need to do it.

Gradually Settling In

I went for a short jog today down to the Nature Centre. I think it’ll be a thing now. Stopped off at the breakfast place that Jamie and I like so much. Got a Twister wrap and a small coffee. The people there are fun.

It’s Been A Few Months

These past few months have rolled by FAST. It’s October. It was almost July when I last wrote here.

Since July, I’ve turned 29. I’ve purchased a Google Chromebook. I’ve finished some TV shows. I’ve started the Novel version of Different yet again. I started knitting a wrap.

Not much else to add here except that my 29th year is passing awfully fast. I miss Jamie. We expect to see each other again by this month. And if not by this month, then in November at the latest.

Home… And Not Home

It’s a strange feeling.

I’ve been off to Australia for the last three weeks, visiting Jamie’s family. It was really wonderful to be there. The familiarity of being around people who enjoy your company.

The strange feeling of homecoming. I say strange because this isn’t really home, is it? I haven’t been in Stamford long enough for it to feel like home to me. It made me realise that I still largely associate home with all the familiar faces I’m unable to see now. Family, best friends, Sir Roderick, and even my co-workers and my bosses. I have no ties here except for Jamie. Seeing Vinnie, his wife, and even our house mate… it’s a different feeling entirely.

I guess I still feel like I am “on vacation” here because this is not really home. I feel stuck between one world and another. Like in the Magician’s Nephew, where I am in that limbo place full of different trees, which lead to different worlds I could enter. I am not gone but I am not at home. The terror of being groundless with no roots.

It’s funny because I love flying. I guess I wouldn’t want to be flying free as a bird–but more flying tethered like a kite.

Why can’t I want to be like a bird? Am I that insecure and that afraid of being alone that I must always have a keeper?

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Australia is interesting. Especially in Denmark, WA this time of year. It was much colder than I expected it to be. I think it was more damp cold rather than the dry cold I’ve experienced anywhere else.

We didn’t go to see any sites or take any tourist trips, but I enjoyed my time there regardless. I was able to learn more about Jamie’s parents and what I’ve learned has endeared them to me. It was a dream and a fantasy that I didn’t really want to wake up from. There was no internet, no phone connect, but I felt that I didn’t need any of those things. I felt that I had everything I needed.

I read a really fantastic book while I was there. The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. It made me want to keep writing my work. More on the book later.

Ack, back to work.

One Month and A Day

It’s technically a month and one day, as it is now after 12 am. Why am I still awake? Because he’s not here.

Distance is funny. We spent more than a year apart, sleeping in our own beds. So you’d think four nights alone would be easy peasy, right? How wrong. It’s only my second night alone and I still can’t sleep. I stayed up late last night, too. Thank science and technology that I don’t have to drive into work.

It’s not easy being here without him. It is and it isn’t. I feel like it’s time for me to do whatever I want… but all I want is to be laughing beside him as usual. I feel half of a person without him. Here in this room full of his things. I guess it was easier to be alone when I was in a room filled with just my things.

Being here has been amazing. I really feel like I belong with this person. It will devastate me if he ever felt that we should no longer be together, but I’m no longer afraid of that. If we want to stay together, then we will.

I’ve been communicating more with my father. Trying. I have gotten some more work done on my writing projects. I can’t call them books–not yet. They are not whole yet.

Jamie and I are looking at getting me a road bike. I think I would really love it.

I had a dream last night that Andrea (house mate from last summer) was my boss here. How terrible is that?

I’ve got a meeting early in the morning, so I’ll sign off for now.