I’m about 28 hours from the start of my journey home and I am feeling pretty homesick now. There are a lot of things I miss. Aside from the obvious – ie my family, friends and my own home, here are some of the less obvious things that I take for granted:
Speaking English: after my first week, which was partly spent at a cultural conference in Cosenza with some other Australians, I have been speaking Italian constantly to the point where sometimes I am thinking in Italian.
The Night Sky: in Bologna I looked up at the stars and they were unfamiliar and I felt the first pangs of homesickness.
Doing Laundry at Home: I’ve been doing laundry in my hotel room, using a bottle of unfamiliar lavender scented washing detergent I bought in my first week here. I am sick of the unfamiliar scent and can hardly wait to get back to using cheap Aldi laundry detergent in my own washing machine.
Supermarkets: I really miss Coles and Woolworths and even Aldi, the supermarkets here just seem so different with different brands and names in Italian.
Thai food: I’m a regular at my local Thai restaurant and I miss eating there a whole lot right now.
Usual TV programming: I don’t own a TV anymore, but I do stream some stuff on my iMac when I can be bothered. In my hotel I can enjoy either Italian news or dubbed versions of NCIS or CSI constantly- shows I don’t bother watching in English.
Myki: I have been taking a lot of public transport in the cities I have visited and I miss using my myki to hop on the bus or tram or train in Melbourne.
The Herald Sun: ever since childhood I’ve been a reader of the herald and the sun, and their successor paper rather than the more highbrow Age. I don’t buy it that often anymore, but almost a month away reminds me how much I enjoy its shallow dogmatic reporting.
Gardening: I need to get out there and plant my tomatoes and do a whole lot of urgent digging and mowing when I get home.
On the other hand, I don’t miss work – except for all my friends in the office. I could quite happily retire right now and not feel the slightest pang about the rat race.
When I get back to my home after this long away, it will seem a little different and unfamiliar and that will make it seem a little more interesting for a while.