Homesickness isn't just missing home
When we think about what it means to be homesick, we think it means missing home – missing the comfort of your own bed, waking up to a filling breakfast, and spending time with your friends after classes or work. Yes, all that is true. But sometimes, you don't miss much of home and instead, you hate the conditions of your new abode which makes you feel homesick.
It's only been a few weeks since I came to the United States for my master's. Let me tell you, I hate it here.
I love the freedom, I love that no one's constantly banging on my door, and that I'm left to my own devices. I don't miss home but there are certain things I hate about my current accommodations that make me miserable at the end of my day.
For one, I really do hate how it's always cold and raining here, even though it's summer. Don't get me wrong, I love winter but it's supposed to be summer. Summer in Bangladesh is about sweat, restlessness, and heat. I don't mean to romanticise this incredible and unbearable heat, but that's the summer I'm used to. Every time I find the smallest patch of sunshine, I find myself going into full plant mode and undergoing photosynthesis for as long as I can. I don't think I've ever hated the cold so much.
Then comes the food. I never really liked the food back home nor was I ever into street food. I like to think my food requirements weren't high maintenance – I have a low spice tolerance, I'm sensitive to texture, I despise sugary tastes but have a sweet tooth, one sip of milk and my mouth is covered in canker sores, and most importantly, I'm vegetarian but I don't like fruits and only prefer cruciferous vegetable. So yes, very not-high-maintenance.
Here, everything tastes the same – fresh and bland. The only condiment or spice prevalent in any food or snack is corn syrup or sugar. Either that or the food colouring is insane. To further allude to how this country simply pretends to be healthy is how the first ingredient listed for gummy vitamins is glucose and sugar. So, make of that what you will.
Lastly, I hate the small talk. Back home, every interaction felt personal. Maybe this is a cultural thing but every interaction I've had here with locals seems a tad superficial. Every conversation I've been a part of outside my classes revolved around the coursework or something about the Hudson Bridge. Even if the conversation topics feel shallow and surface-level, it's not. Everyone genuinely seems like they want to socialise after classes and engage in fun conversations. Maybe the group I'm talking about isn't compatible, maybe it'll take more time or maybe, I just don't fit in.
Aside from everything I hate here that makes me miss home, I do miss some things about Bangladesh – my friends, the coffee, the conversations, and my bedroom walls that absorbed my overthinking out loud. It's not easy being homesick and not entirely knowing how to overcome it, and yet, it's something you have to push through.
Puja does nothing but read Gaiman and drinks unhealthy amounts of coffee. Send her cat photos at fb.com/pspspspspspspspspspspuwu/