This time last year when I just set foot in Chicago, I remember how I viewed everything with a sense of wonder and anticipation. Skyscrapers! Gorgeous parks! Street performers! Everything was viewed through rose-tinted glasses and I couldn’t help feeling excited about what lies in store for me, from making friends to exploring cool places.
Fast forward one year and I am simply filled with a sense of ennui.
Nowadays my biggest joy comes from buying groceries in supermarkets. When I landed back to Chicago last week, all I wanted was to go back to my apartment and catch up on my sleep. And when I woke up, all I wanted to do was to watch Korean dramas and Taiwanese variety shows on my laptop.
It is fall season now and probably the best time to enjoy Chicago before the cold sets in. The temperature is comfortable and the scene beautiful I guess, with leaves in the midst of turning yellow. Yet I am not at all interested to check out the view. As mentioned, I am only interested in going to supermarkets to buy groceries so that I can whip up my own comfort food. I remember excitedly waiting for the leaves to turn yellow last year because it was my first autumn in another country but this time round I just can’t bring myself to take a stroll around the nearby parks and streets to take in the beauty.
On a positive side, it might mean that I am no longer a tourist. After all I am also extremely nonchalant about checking out interesting stuff to do when I was living in Singapore. On a negative side, it might also mean that I am completely bored in this new city that I am living in.
I am someone who really likes living in a foreign country, but I guess there is a limit to how much exotic stuff you can take. After a certain period of time, you just want to be in a country where you feel completely at ease with the culture. And I am so not an ang moh pai. If I were living in Taiwan or Japan instead, I believe my sense of wonder won’t cease so easily.Or rather, even if the excitement were to cease, I would probably have progressed to the stage of being comfortable in the new city, much like a local.
Therefore, when choosing a country to relocate to, I think it is extremely important to factor in the culture and of course the cost of living.
Hopefully my current state of sian-ness stems from me still adjusting since it is just my first week back after 3 comfortable months in Singapore.