Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mandalay vs. Lake Mary

I'm about mid-way through my summer vacation.  I've loved being back in my Lake Mary, FL home.  I miss my Mandalay, Myanmar home.

I've been quite the social butterfly since arriving home - lots of time with friends and family, catching up.  It has been wonderful.  The most common question I've gotten is "What's the best thing about being home?"

My nephew and his youngest son.
Clearly, the number one thing is being with the people I love.  It's wonderful to catch up and find out what's new and the joys and dreams of the people I care most about.  I enjoy the people I work and live with in Mandalay but we don't have the history.  And, we don't have a similar life path which leads us to similar experiences and views.  But they're right there, willing to play cards and listen to me bitch about school and they totally get it because they're dealing with the siblings of my kids.

I'm also loving the freedom that comes with a car.  I'm paying a fortune for a rental car and insurance for 6 weeks.  It is worth every penny.  The freedom of being able to go where I want, when I want, in comfort is fabulous.  If I want to get up at 3 a.m. in the morning and drive to the beach with no prior planning, I can do it.  Radio blasting.   Being able to pull into my garage during a huge thunderstorm and then carrying groceries just a few feet into my kitchen.  But  I don't have the company of my sweet young driver and his willingness to carry my groceries up 3 flights and admire the view from my apartment.

The food.  You just have to look at me to know I appreciate a good meal.  I'd forgotten the myriad of choices available in America.  Right now I have artichokes steaming on the stove.  I had some lobster bisque for breakfast (don't judge!).  Restaurants, huge choices in the grocery store, there is no food that I crave that I don't have access to.  But I can't get a delicious and huge meal for less than $3.00 in Lake Mary.
Fried shrimp and oysters on the coast.
Mexican food.  Real Mexican food. 

I love being in my home.  I bought this house in 1994.  My brother helped me move in and get settled.  It has a lot of memories.  I have a small, private pool, a convenient gas grill (that's getting quite a workout) and my own stuff around me.  But I don't have a view of pagodas or water buffaloes or rice paddies.

I love not working.  The luxury of no alarm clock. Waking up and then just luxuriating lounging a bit in bed.  No rush to shower and head to school.  But I miss my kids smiles and hugs.  One of my kids who tried to crawl inside my skin every morning when he arrived at school.  Their excitement in telling me what had happened since they'd seen me the day before.

I'm so lucky to be home.  And I'm so lucky to be going home at the end of the month.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Where is Home?

Three weeks ago I arrived home, in Florida.  From the hugs at the airport to cruising down the road with music blaring, it's been great to be here. 

Not long after I got back I was shopping with a good friend and pointed at something and said "I wish I could take that home."  She said "You can, it will fit in the car."  But I meant my Myanmar home.

This month, I'll be heading back home for my third year in Mandalay.  Until then, I plan to enjoy my Florida home - friends, enchiladas, beach and more.  I'm lucky to have two places that feel like home.

I'll miss my comfy couch when I'm back in Mandalay.