Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting used to being "Back"

Several weeks have passed since my last blog-post in which I announced my (temporary) return to Holland.

It had been about a year ago since I had been back to my home country, and it was about time to show my family that I was still alive and (relatively) healthy. So I booked myself a flight to Amsterdam and wrote the previous blog while waiting for my departure.

Nothing changed at
Schiphol Airport.
Still feels like coming 'home'
My trip back home was fantastic, as it was absolutely great to see my friends and family again. The 3 weeks that I spent back "home" were fully booked with meetings and gatherings. The evening after arrival I organized a "let's catch up together" evening at the beach, and I was amazed to see so many of my friends show up there, even though it was organized only a few days before. 

It is funny to realize that even though you are gone for a year, nothing seems to change very much; You expect the world to be different when you return, but actually it isn't. The same people are there, the places have not changed that much, and it is amazing how quickly you reintegrate into your usual habits. Going to the supermarket in your local hometown, driving towards your old office, watching TV, everything did not seem to change much.

I assume that if I spend more years far away from home, this experience of "everyting stays the same" will change a bit, year-by-year. If I make it until that time in Hong Kong, I will definitely look back to this post and reflect on it.

Now I am back in Hong Kong, sitting at my usual place in Pacific Coffee with a regular cup of Americano, "tall size milk...paper cup....", and reflecting back on the 3 weeks in Holland I must share another thought with you.

Absolutely awesome to cycle again
through the Dutch landscape.
As I said before, I expected that my trip to holland would leave a big impression. Seeing your friends and family, looking at the totally changed country.. no it actually felt like I left it all just yesterday. No,  coming back to Hong Kong, was the most toughest part of my trip. 

After 3 weeks back in Holland, I got quite used again to the Dutch way of life. Living there, working (I had to visit my fellow colleagues regularly for some projects we are conducting there), meeting friends in the evening, everything felt as usual. Did I really go to Hong Kong for a year? Or was it a dream? 

Of course it was not a dream, but sometimes it felt like that. And when the 3 weeks were over, I had to go back to my life as a Dutchman in Hong Kong. And despite the change from Hong Kong to Holland went very smoothly, I had a lot of trouble being back in Hong Kong.

So great to sit outside on a
terrace in Haarlem...
And no airconditioning!
It was not the fact that I didn't like to be here, but it was the fact that it felt that I had left something behind.

Some memories and feelings of a happy time, catching up with everyone, and looking at how life was going on there. It felt like a part of my life was going on, but without me.

Gradually, I got back again to myself here in Hong Kong. I caught up with work, met my friends, and started to get my life here back on track that I have set for myself. And despite the crazy hot summer weather here, I am enjoying myself again.

To be continued for another year!