Home and Away

I decided to spend the weekend in Vancouver. Partly a trip to deal with Canadian bureaucracy, the other part an excuse to visit family, the trip turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting. Heading out Friday evening, I really didn’t feel like going, mostly because this was to be a solo trip and that meant that Edu and I would be apart for two whole days. It’s crazy to think that we survived a year apart from each other at one point, considering the dread that the prospect of a mere two days apart instilled in me.

Nonetheless, I was still looking forward to spending some quality time with my family, and so off to Vancouver I went. This visit was particularly poignant, since, in light of recent news, it might have actually been one of the last opportunities I’d have to fly back home and see my family for the weekend.

And it turned out to be a great weekend. Andrea ended up working both days that I was in town, but we got a chance to grab lunch together at Slickity Jim’s.

It was really nice, like catching up with an old friend, which I suppose is what we are. I sometimes get too caught up in being the protective older sister, and forget to just sit back and be her friend. And when I do remember to take a break from being that protective older sister, I realize, as I did last Saturday, that Andrea’s a pretty capable person. She and I are so different. She’s strong, in a quiet sort of way. And she is really mature, even though I sometimes refuse to acknowledge it. She ended up telling me a bit about her plans for culinary school and about all the things that she was learning at her job. I, in turn, unleashed my anxiety about this possible impending move to Japan, and ended our outing by spilling beer all over her dress. Who’s the older sister again?

My lovely sister, Andrea, before I spilled beer all over her dress.

My lovely sister, Andrea, before I spilled beer all over her dress.

Apart from a get-together with my film school buddies at EXP Bar (the new video game-themed bar Downtown, which I highly recommend), and breakfast at Lucky’s with one of my oldest friends Yxes (I mean “oldest” in the fact that we’ve been friends since high school — she’s actually younger than me by four months), the rest of my weekend was spent with family. Mama, the saint that she is, kept me fed with kare-kare, tapa, adobong manok, and taho at sago (needless to say, I abandoned my diet for the weekend).

It was wonderful. Normal, even. Not at all like it had been nearly half a year since I last saw everyone. There were no sad goodbyes to conclude it, either. We all just hung out and yelled and drank as if we would all see each other the following week. It was really nice, although somewhat sad in a way, in that it reminded just how much I missed my family, and how far I would soon be from all of them. Even though I’ve been living outside of the country for over two years now, the fact that we still live a 3-hour-plane ride away, on the same time zone no less, somehow made it feel like I had merely moved out of the house, down the street; that is, away but not too far away.

However, moving an entire ocean away to Tokyo – that’s huge. In a way, I feel like I’m moving away from home again, for real this time. I’ve done my practice run, and now this is the real deal. I have a greater appreciation now for what Edu must feel, living so far from his family.

Speaking of Edu, he is, as expected, over the moon about all this. Living in Japan has been a childhood dream for him. It’s actually pretty comforting seeing how ecstatic he is, as it helps lift my own mood about our impending relocation. As glad as I am about this upcoming opportunity – and believe me, I am excited and happy about it too, even though I might not seem as much – the dominant emotions that I’m feeling these days are more fear and sadness than outright happiness. Perhaps the closer we get to the date, the better I’ll feel about it.

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