Friday, August 24, 2007

Familiarity with a homeland?

I came back from Armenia about just over three weeks ago. This was my second trip in three years and after spending 6 weeks there I was...well... ready to go home.

I wasn't sad upon leaving my homeland, I wasn't wondering about my return, and I definitely wasn't attached to anything. Why? Because Armenia became familiar to me.

The first time I went I spent 2 months there and when the time came for me to come home I wanted to stay longer and cherish my times there. I grew attached to the entire experience, the immersion into a different world, and the friends I made. It all hit me at once, the cars about to run over you, everybody speaking Armenian, all the stuff you encounter the first time and wake up with a "culture shock." All of these concepts sound cliche to me now whenever I think of Armenia.

This time I was used to crossing the street, the language, the different realm became familiar territory for me. I was therefore not attached when I was leaving, in fact I was ready and eager to go home. The initial "culture shock" dissipated and I remained just another diasporan enjoying his summer in the homeland. Is that, after all, everything that Armenia offers? After the first time, and that's it?

Well, there's a reason why I became familiar to the atmosphere of Armenia, and as I look back there is an inherent beauty to my acclimation. Yes it was familiar and no longer new, but at the same time I realized that I became familiar with my homeland. I suppose that isn't a bad thing, and I was able to show others what I experienced the first time.

Now as I look back it isn't entirely a bad thing to be familiar with one's surroundings, but for now I'm looking for something that... well... isn't too familiar :)

1 comment:

Varty said...

i know that feeling all too well.
it's why i left LA, and why i was hesitant to stay initially.