Interesting post, I really enjoyed it! It's strange with parents and friends back in your home country living so far away. You only see them occasionally, so you really notice the change due to age and culture more than if you saw them regularly. I was incredibly car sick as a child, so my Mum completely got used to my car-sickness and it caused her no stress at all. Last time I went back (in 2019), my daughter was sick in the back of the car and my Mum was so stressed out about it!

Talking about asking your mum to make simple dishes, I remember my parents taking my wife's parents to a Chinese restaurant (maybe because they thought Chinese food is closer to Japanese food) and asking me to translate/explain the dishes on the menu. Chinese restaurants in the UK always have a massive menu with about 100 dishes - was I going to explain them all!? They just settled for the only dish they knew from Japan - chahan.

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May 10·edited May 10Liked by DavidB

I recently moved back to NZ after 8 years in China and can relate to all of this. I moved back because my parents are getting older - my dad is around the same age as your father - and while that's been tough, the covid culture shock has hit harder. I'm the same as you, where it's got to the point where I don't respond to friend requests. After so long away, it's hard to broach the seemingly taboo topic of covid caution with people who are more like strangers now, and when I have brought it up with specific friends, I haven't been met with understanding. It makes me sad and angry that everyone has given up. It's lonely but I figure it's a long game, and the alternative - getting sick - would be much worse. Edit: your friend who visited sounds lovely <3

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