Yesterday’s post was a tiny bit misleading…

…because we’re already home, as of yesterday afternoon, from our two-week trip through Taiwan and Hong Kong. (Yesterday‘s photos from top to bottom: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Taiwan with my sister and her husband)

I decided before we left to pre-schedule blog posts to appear during our trip as if I were still home. I didn’t want everyone to know we were gone, plus I didn’t think I’d have time to post while we were traveling. I’m sorry for that little deception, but it was a good choice, because I most certainly did not have time to blog! I barely had time to write in my journal, though I did squeeze in quick scribbles on trains and planes and occasionally in cafes. I’ll be posting those observations, along with photos, over the next couple of weeks as I adjust back to normal life.

Jet lag is such a weird limbo place. Yesterday I managed to unpack a little and check email, though I ate leftover Hong Kong buns for dinner because “real” food just felt like too much to deal with. Around nine or ten I started to fall asleep sitting up, so we went to bed. When I woke in the middle of the night to pee, I couldn’t figure out which hotel we were in, and it took me a minute to remember that this was our own room.

This morning we woke up at seven and thought we were awake. Somehow, though, leaving the bed just didn’t seem important… At twelve-thirty I thought I heard knocking on the door so I got up and went to check. There was nothing outside but the rain and bright cold air that made me think it was time to get up for real. I fed Lyapa, watered my dry mouth, walked to the mailbox and fetched two weeks’ worth of mail. While I was sifting through that (the usual flyers and letters from charities, a couple of things from friends, three magazines and the CARE calendar), Erik trudged out of the bedroom and came over to my chair. I hugged his waist without getting up, and he mumbled, “Good morning.” I handed him his mail and he retreated to the bedroom again. I began to work my way through the last loaf of Hong Kong bread.

It’s weird to be back and resting after two weeks of busy days and busy streets. Everything is so spacious: our house, our time, our fridge, the sky. I like it and I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel familiar anymore. My sister and her husband are not in the next room; we have no one to see except Lyapa, who squeaks and squeaks; we have nothing to do except pick up our CSA box and finish unpacking. It seems like I should be able to look out the window and see the ground many stories below us, instead of just within reach. It seems like any minute now our HK friend Joanna should be calling us to say she’s coming over to take us someplace new. It seems like I should be able to get in the elevator and go down to the corner 7-11 to get a tea egg and some fresh bread. (Fortunately, my dad left tea eggs in the fridge so at least I can still have one of those!)

Breakfast from 7-11 in Taiwan

A cold packaged breakfast from 7-11 in Taiwan

I was thinking, while we were out, that I could have stayed indefinitely if only I’d had more downtime and my computer (I don’t like typing on Erik’s iPad). Now we have both, so I am free to miss HK and Taiwan… and I have so much time to miss them in! It was a good trip because we got to taste everything: city life and mountain country, sightseeing, morning commutes, family we knew well and family we didn’t. I’m afraid that by coming home I am losing that precious sense of being in every moment, and replacing it with the laziness and complacency of knowing tomorrow we’ll still be here. Of course that’s ever an illusion — no matter who or where or what we are, we can never know that tomorrow we’ll still be here — but it’s difficult, right now, not to see our traveling life and our home life as two distinct ways of being that can never be reconciled. I think there must be a middle ground. Toward the end of our trip I was getting pretty tired; the go-go-go style of sightseeing is not to be sustained. I’d like to find some way to keep that forward momentum while also bringing in more quiet time to reflect and create.

But for now… hello jet lag, yes I see you there. I think I’ll go lie down again.