i suppose we are now officially home in chilliwack: we are no longer camping in our house, kylie has signed up for tahitian dance lessons and i have just finished my first day of work. the fraser valley welcomed us with a few sunny days before the rains set in again, only to retreat gloriously in the face of one of the most beautiful spring saturdays i can remember.
finally during our time in europe, staying with good friends in holland, germany, norway and england we thought we MUST be minimizing our adjustment by slowly reengaging with western culture. i remember picking up our friend aaron straight off the plane from taiwan and having him stare at us in bewilderment when we asked him simple questions. he claimed that he was continually surprised that we (and the local shopkeepers) weren't speaking chinese.
when we arrived in lethbridge we congratulated ourselves on avoiding the worst of reverse culture shock... mainly we noticed how nice, helpful and considerately conversational canadians were. kylie and marc, the intrepid backpackers, able to adjust to new cultures in a single plane ride. boy were we wrong.
i think to our minds, lethbridge and edmonton where just extensions of our time in europe. staying at people's houses and talking and going for walks; not too difficult. the first odd feelings came when we were nearing revelstoke to pick up niko.
the next morning we left for chilliwack, and after an enjoyable interlude with our cousin nevin and his miracle kid katie in kamploops, we set across the coquihala to the fraser valley. again, as we passed through hope, kylie and i each felt knots forming in our stomachs. arriving in the fraser valley created a strange nervous feeling that only intensified as we drove into chilliwack and down beautiful airport drive to our house (the road is lined with japanese plum trees that had blossomed just for us).
we relaxed a bit once we had unloaded the 4runner into our home and our renters had finally left (albeit without moving out of the kitchen!) but still every foray into our old lives recreated the same strange hair raising panicky feeling. we felt very wierd about going to church for the first time and almost turned around and left in the parking lot. even going to reconnect with our good friends ang and chad was disconcerting (until we got there).
the whole strangeness climaxed for me at safeway. we went to pick up toothpaste and garbage bags; armed with clear goals in the task ahead i marched confidently into the dental aisle only to be confronted with almost a hundred options for a standard sized tube of toothpaste. i just about had a panic attack. if it wasnt for kylie standing behind me i think i might have bolted and subjected everyone to my unbrushed breath.
anyways, now we are more used to canada, and i actually DIDNT feel all those crazy things when i went to the hospital this morning, which is a very good thing. i actually quite enjoyed the day and am looking forward to tomorrow (although i hope i get home before 7:00).
we are also enjoying exploring our old haunts. i have had 2 great rides on vedder and we have met some old friends at our favourite off leash area.
so. i know we have no reason to complain, we just got back from 4 months of no schedule and responsibilities and poor marc has to go back to work when he would rather head to malaysia to see ty and kelsey. i enjoyed the challenge today at the office and both of us are looking forward to a summer of good times with good friends in a great place. home sweet home.