Being home is about lyric fm, leftover newspapers and silence. It's about reflective walks in the park and swiping coloured leaves from my boots. It's about lamenting Ireland and hopes for the future. It's about Michael D and Ireland's soccer team winning. It's about Guinness and copious cups of tea. It's about family and being close to them again. It's about inhaling the fresh damp air and breathing it into my lungs. Trying to get warm. It's about embracing the newness of being back and the oddities of it all.
Sitting on the bus listening to the chatter and banter. Observing life that has changed beyond measure in 2 short years. Passing cafes, clothes shops, restaurants and bars all once alive and thriving now boarded up. That strange feeling when passing the empty vessel buildings. The occupy tents outside central bank. The enormity of all this is very hard to process and I don't quite feel part of it-I feel like a quiet observer trying to understand it bit by bit.
There is a feeling of dislocation as I try to slot back into life here. A big part of me is still in Vietnam among the children and being taken in by their spirits and positivity. How little they have and how often they smile. Watching them dance or painting and them being transformed and captured by life's simple pleasures. I miss Truc and Muoi, Nhi and Thuyet, Khieu and Thong, Phu, Tai, Anh Nguyen, Anh Thu and Tai. I miss sitting with them after class and eating noodles with them. I miss being part of their lives but I know that leaving when I did was the right thing to do. There is a comfort in these memories, that somehow I made a difference to their lives, however small that may have been.