I just finished reading two books that probably couldn't be more different if they'd tried.
First I'm finally getting around to reading all the Jane Austen books that I've seen as movies, most recently Pride and Prejudice. Set in a country neighborhood in regency England, it focuses on the romantic lives of the five Bennet daughters. Major crises involve a scandalous elopement, rejected proposals and misjudgements of characters. Everyone lives happily ever after.
Naturally I followed that up with Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. Set, largely, in outerspace in some unstated time in the future, it focuses on the highly traumatic childhood of one Ender Wiggen, potential savior of mankind. Major crises involve a sadistic older brother bent on ruling the world, interpersonal combat between Ender and other children, and interstellar battles - the outcome of which will determine the future of humanity. A good bit of death & destruction in the final couple chapters.
I have to say... I love both of these books. It's nice to get lost in Jane Austen's world of manners and small town dramas. While I'm glad I didn't actually have to live through that particular time period... it's a fun and romantic place to visit. And as for Ender... the psychological thrill ride is engaging even though this is my third or fourth time reading it.
On my own psychological thrill ride through Thailand, I'm feeling about as far from my life back in the States as I could possibly feel. I miss it, and I feel homesick. But I know that I don't really have a home there anymore. Wherever I go, whatever I do when I'm done here in Thailand... I'll have to start over from scratch. Yeah, I know people in Portland, and obviously I know the city and the language. But I'll need to find a job, a place to live and spend some time and energy rebuilding friendships. I've changed a lot. I'm not going to fit back into the same slot I was in when I left. It's unsettling. I know I shouldn't worry about things like that... cross that bridge when I come to it and all. I can't help it though... worrying about the future is one of those traits that doesn't seem to be changing much. ;)
So I have a question for those of you who have lived abroad... how did you know when it was time to come 'home'... and what were the biggest adjustments you had to make?
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