SHIRLEY WANG – Princeton – 2021

This March 9, 2021, I woke up in the U.S., for the first time in nine years. I’ve been back in my home country for a little over the month and have moments where this culture feels foreign. Mostly it’s practical stuff. (Pick a health insurance plan? Add tax and tip?) I keep find myself explaining to customer service that I’ve only recently moved back, I guess in hopes that they don’t think I’m an idiot. Cole dons his mask to get in the car (he doesn’t like the car smell and has to wear it all day in school anyway) and we go off happily to school, still trying to find the most efficient route. Then, I drive back eight minutes and get to work. Later when he gets home, he immediately asks to go meet his new friends, who run around the communal grassy area. It feels so circa 1960s and I LOVE it! We’re settling into our new, small-town routine surprisingly smoothly. Life’s easier here in many ways than in London, but I hope Cole and I don’t forget its international vibrancy.