Day 90: Home

Home — my back yard. Looks like I need to rake the leaves.

I arrived back in Utah last night and, for the first time in three months, woke up this morning in my own bed. When my eyes opened, the first thoughts that registered in my mind were “What is this place? Where am I? Something is wrong”. The room felt foreign and unwelcome. A few moments later, as my mind rushed through the events of the past twenty-four hours, I realized that I was safe at home, but it still did not feel right. My whole being questioned why I was back here, why I would ever come back here. Finally, as I reached a state of being fully awake, my inner turmoil calmed and I got ready for work.

My home is not a bad place. It’s as big as I’ll ever want or need. It’s well furnished. I have a gorgeous backyard and view of the mountains. I have my own office just off the den. But now I’m back among the familiar. I do not have to struggle to read signs in a strange alphabet or try to pick from the few words I know to communicate with a shopkeeper. The city is spread out across many miles, not packed into a few kilometers. Restaurants are mostly chains selling chemical soaked frozen meals instead of individually run establishments cooking fresh food. I can’t have сирники for breakfast.

I can’t find my work id or my train pass. I assume they are sitting in a pocket of my lost luggage. I’ll have to buy a ride on the train today and talk to our admin about a temporary id badge. The train costs $8.60, a far cry from the $0.075 it cost to ride the bus in Chernivtsi, or even the $5.00 it cost to take a 1st class sleeper car from Lviv to Ivano-Frankivsk. I’d say the bonus is that the train has WiFi, but like the WiFi on most trains, it is horribly deficient. The seats aren’t packed as close together as they are on a bus in Ukraine, but the people are bigger. It’s a wash.

We have a Sprint Review meeting this morning and I haven’t even looked at work in almost forty eight hours. No matter, the guys have things covered. They rock the presentation to stake holders and have all of our assigned work completed. I love having a good team that knows how to work independent of detailed direction. By 9:00, everything feels like just another day in the office for me. It’s as if I had never left. Well, except that I’m having a hard time stomaching the food here. It’s just not very good. One bonus, sort of, is that I get my phone upgrade today.

Now I can join the masses who all have phones too big for use with one hand.

Evening comes. I stop by DK to see if there’s anything new or interesting there. I also say hello to a few friends who are at the store hanging out. I’ve got three comic books waiting for me ( the comics I get aren’t your standard super hero comics, so three in three months is actually quite a few ). The story from the airline is that I will get my lost baggage tonight. I do. At 23:00. I unpack everything just to make sure nothing was stolen. Everything is there, but the carry on bag I was forced to check has been searched through and its contents re-arranged. They probably rifled through it because it had a bunch of computer cords and adapters in it, combined with fifteen or so squares of chocolate that could have looked like explosives to a machine.

I’m tired. It’s time to go to sleep. I’ll wake up in Utah again tomorrow. My international adventure is over — for now. I do have ideas for how to continue this publication, but I’ll want to ask those who read it the best way to go forward as we bridge the gap between now and my next extended travel ( which should occur in February ). Look for that in my next post.