I miss New Zealand. Whenever I think about it, which is at least once a day, I think of how different words are pronounced.
I love how they pronounce 'marathon', the 'o' sounding like an 'e'. And how 'garage' was the name 'Gary' and 'age' placed together.
I'm sad I didn't spend more time really exploring the place, rather than having to choose school over a weekend in Wellington, where I only spent one day in and felt so happy and perfect in that place, like it was a new home I didn't know I had.
I sometimes wonder if I left something behind in that country. For a place that didn't necessarily have the best technology, they were way ahead of America in acceptance and generosity. The only bad experiences I had there were with other Americans, who didn't want to befriend the Kiwis I so enjoyed hanging around.
Most of my art projects involve an element of New Zealand. Kiwi and plant life alike, they find their way into my pieces. I feel like I'm stealing from another art when I mimic the way a leaf unfolds.
But I can't get it out of my head.
And then I came back. I don't think I had a reverse culture shock, but I did keep comparing things in my head. I noticed the scenery around me more, and missed the green lush that was so vivid. I still laugh at how Michael told the whole floor how I called a duvet a comforter, and how I'd been so embarrassed because the rest of the floor chuckled with him. I love that my mates got into the Halloween spirit with me by carving pumpkins, dressing up, and then watching scary/fun flicks.
I mostly miss how safe everything was. Everybody was nice, welcoming, and willing to share. And I feel guilty that I had a whirlwind experience and wasn't able to give that back to the extent they did for me.
This is what I think about in the split seconds of the morning when I wake up and wonder where I am.
Random Fact: The gnomon is the thing that casts the shadow on a sundial.