Tomorrow i will be heading back to the Workland. I have spent eight days in the Homeland and i think so far, this is the most appropriate lenght of stay so far – neither too short to be cut-throat leaving behind a trail of disappointed and appalled friends in my wake, nor too long to make me bored and resent my stay back home. Also i have not yet miss my dog to the extent that i regret taking such a long trip away, so this is good.
Since this is the first time proper in six years that i can catch up with friends without feeling rushed, i naturally started noticing the subtle differences that i may not have otherwise picked up.
One thing i have noticed in the Homeland is that people tend to have a bigger tendency to dismiss me when our opinions clash. Whilst we rarely explode (that only happened once and that was with a cousin who is now hiding away in shame), the dismissive shake of a hand, the haughty shrug of the shoulders or the rude rolling of one’s eyes, shocked me on more than one occasion. I have noticed that it is not easy for Homelanders to agree to disagree amicably. You either agree or you are cut off. Of course i may be generalizing, but i have encountered this on more than one occasion and it is making me cautious whenever someone brings out a controversial topic to “discuss”. The problem is it really cuts deep when the person behaving in such a way, happens to be a trusted friend. Truth be told, i re-consider our friendship as a result.
A similar thing happens in the Workland but it does not affect me as much because it usually occurs with mere acquaintances so i let their behaviour slide. But sometimes i feel trapped. I understand that there is a chiasm between the liberal Western culture and the more conservative Eastern culture, but no one seems to empathsize about those caught in the middle. I am expected to take a stand. Consequently, there are times where i feel i cannot be myself and i have to conceal my opinions when they do not match up. Fortunately this does not happen often, but sometimes i wonder why we can’t just be a little more tolerant and accepting. Makes me feel a little jaded at times.