Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The end of the Switalian honeymoon

Oh how I would love to see you again Dear to go coffee cup!

“they” say that once you hit the 6 month mark living in a new country, the honeymoon phase ends.  It’s when reality hits a wall that “holy shit” you’re living in another country and the things that you thought were quaint and charming are actually a pain in the ass in daily life.

When I lived in Germany, I didn’t really have a honeymoon phase, but at 6 months, it felt like I had hit a brick wall at autobahn speeds.  It was the turning point of things going from bad to worse.

In Switaly, it’s been a much softer landing.  Sure it annoys me that I can’t get a cappuccino to go.  In Italy (and Switaly by default) you just DON’T get coffees to go.  Caffeine is meant to be ingested on the spot and preferably over a gab with your friends but who has time for that in the mornings!  I consider cappuccinos my morning necessity and the most efficient meants to get caffeine into my bloodstream since I hate the taste of coffee.

And sure, whoever designed traffic flow in Lugano most likely started their career as a bar bouncer than a civil engineer.  I say this because for a city of only 50,000 there’s a lot of traffic.  But there are more (untimed) stop lights and crosswalks than I’ve ever seen in my life.  My personal theory is that they’ve made traffic an intentional nightmare to make the city look “busy” much like a bouncer would hold a line to make a club seem busier.

The quirks of living in Switaly are a lot more livable than the ones I had to put up with in Germany.  After all, it's nothing that can't be solved by getting my ass out of bed earlier in the morning, having a coffee at home and biking to work, except for the fact that mornings and I weren't built for each other.  But why then do I have this….. feeling of missing…. Home?  I dare not call it homesickness because I don’t get homesick.  As the oldest and first child in my family.  I spent a lot of time with aunts, uncles and childless family friends who wanted to hang out with a kid on weekends.  I loved these chances to get away and have never experienced homesickness.  While at camp, Winnie Welch, the girl who latched onto me and deemed me her best camp friend, started crying because she was homesick, I stared at her as if she had a 2nd head.  I couldn’t comprehend it!

So why then, when I’m happy with my life, job and where I live do I have this weird feeling for longing for home???  I blame it on the babies.  And by babies, I mean that most of my close friends uterus’ are currently housing offspring.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no inkling to move back home, nor do I pine for my old North American life, I just have this awkward feeling I don’t like that I’m missing part of the fun and that somehow if I were back home, the fun would be mine.  Then again, maybe this is a feeling I’d also have back home (probably) that just happens whenever lots of people near you start having babies and the most significant thing in your life is to complain that you can’t get a cappuccino to go!

Who knows, but I will be one step closer to finding out when I go home for a visit in a couple of months for the first time in two years.  Now THAT will be interesting!

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