Everyone keeps asking me if I’m home sick and I reply with a firm no. I miss my family and my friends but lucky for me I talk to them and video chat with them almost every day. We have been here for three weeks, almost four yet I still feel unsettled. I rationalize telling myself that as soon as we get our house things will be better, as soon as we start finding our way around things will get better, as I get a car and a job I will feel better. And I do feel better but I still feel off. I had an awesome night with a few girls I met here already and have been getting out and about on the weekends with Richie still…when I’m alone I feel uneasy. It’s not that I feel unsafe. I know I am safe here on base, my neighbors are extremely nice and I hear families and children playing outside all day long. I believe that I’m suffering from culture shock. When you go outside the gates, everything is different. People still walk around and drive cars but they are on the other side of the road and all of the signs are in Japanese, Kanji, to be more precise. There are still restaurants and shops but you may have to take your shoes off when you go in to eat or learn how to ask for things that you need in a language that is completely foreign to me. ( I can say hello, and thank you). I am learning each day, the many customs that the Okinawans have, especially so that I don’t accidentally offend someone.
Richie and I went to a restaurant in town called, “Tsubaki-Ya”, where you take your shoes off and you sit at a low table on cushions and you order from a menu with pictures. It was delicious but extremely frustrating trying to manuever chopsticks when I was dying of starvation. Ok, I wasn’t really dying of starvation, I just felt like it. In the end, I managed to have a wonderful meal with sushi, fried rice and chopsticks and Richie paid for it all in Yen! It was definitely an adventure but still one that took patience and the urge to try something new. I’m excited to see all of the wonderful things the island has to offer, as well as having a job again and exploring new things but I miss the comfort of knowing where things are, knowing exactly who to call when I needed something. I suppose the adventure isn’t just in getting here but living here and making this our home.
Maybe it really is just good-old fashioned homesickness. The unknown is scary even when you have a loving husband by your side to help you through it.
Do you ever feel like you are missing something but you don’t even know what it is?