I had a real emotional moment of reflection recently while visiting the Farmers market and seeing the mandarins again. I can remember when we first arrived seeing them in the markets and thinking how green they looked for mandarins; and making the mistake of thinking they would be the same as what we had eaten in New Zealand. Eventually I got to taste one and realized they where nothing like what I was thinking. Mandarins quickly became one of our favourite fruits here.
Now a year has passed and they are back in season. When I saw them I felt happy and enjoyed the feeling of seeing a familiar friend. How different an emotion to feel as compared to when everything was new, exotic, and strange.
After being here for a full year we feel at home. We are constantly reminded of this as we see our new expat friends dealing with the overwhelming feelings that come with making a new life in a strange land. It is like riding a wave, exciting, exhilarating, and possibly dangerous, all at the same time.
But the key is to keep your balance and enjoy the ride. Soon a year will pass and all those things that seemed so strange at first will be familiar friends like my mandarins.