Is This Really The End?!

Alexandra Szotka
June 25, 2014

It still quite hasn’t hit me that I am really home. After living in Cape Town these last few months, home has taken on a weird new meaning for me. Since I never really considered my college my real home, I never expected to get so attached to Cape Town, mold-infested bathroom and all! I think the reason I will forever love Cape Town is because of the people I met there. Anyone who knows me knows that I am quick to cry, but even so, the day I had to leave my beautiful view of Table Mountain behind, along with all my beautiful friends, I sobbed like a baby. I looked into all my friends’ faces and felt such love and happiness for all of the memories we made in Cape Town together and I realized that this really was the end of something special. I cried enough to last a life time, so I’m not going to make this post TOO sappy, but lets just say the 16 hour flight home was a rough one involving no sleep and gross food.

Roommates for life!

Pig Pile! Or should I say almost-all vegetarian pile!

Taking it back to when we crossed something off our bucket list and went surfing!

Couldn’t have asked for better human beings!

Upon coming back home there have been a number of challenges/pleasantries:

  1. Unlimited Wireless Internet: Since coming home I have probably used more Internet than I have used in my whole lifetime, just primarily because I could. I really have abused my right to electricity, but it was just so overwhelming to be able to go online without constantly looking up how many gigs you were using. I no longer have to choose between skyping my parents and doing research for a class (skyping always seems to win). I have realized that YouTube is a wonderful invention and I have fully utilized it, from music videos to random clips, I have literally seen it all.
  2. Customer Service: As much as I said that I missed great U.S. customer service while being in South Africa, in some ways I really don’t think I did. At least in South Africa everyone is being honest in their aloofness to help you, basically admitting to hating their jobs, while in America the customer service sometimes just ranges on completely fake. However in coming back to the States it was nice to see people go out of their way to help me and get me answers in a quick manner.
  3. Driving on the other side: Even though I never drove in Cape Town, I was in enough vehicles and crossed enough streets to fully get integrated into driving on the left side of the street instead of the right. Thus, coming home has been problematic because I have basically had to learn to drive again. Luckily no car accidents have occurred and that is the way I like it.
  4. Feeling Safer: Its not that I ever felt fully unsafe in Cape Town, but there were times that things were a little touch and go. Therefore, since being back in the U.S. in my suburban neighborhood, I have felt a lot more free. I haven’t been watching my back all the time, and the other day before leaving my room I had this thought that I had to put my laptop in my safe and then realized that that actually was just a Cape Town mindset. So the good thing about returning is that going for a run or handling electronics is nice to do without having to constantly keep my guard up.
  5. Accepting that no one actually fully understands: I want to share so many things with my friends and family, but it all just seems to go right over everyone’s’ head. I can see so much growth in myself and in my world views and I know that Cape Town has changed me, yet I have to be understanding of the people at home because they didn’t have the same experiences as me. They might take longer to understand some things, and for other things they may never fully understand. I’m learning that all this is okay and I just need to keep going with the flow.
  6. Time change: The time change is definitely wearing me out, but also working in my favor. For some reason I keep waking up at 7am, which I hate because all I want to do is sleep. On the other hand though, it is great because after I get up at 7am, I am actually productive with my day. I’m sure this will soon change though…
  7. Just Missing Everything: I am not completely sure if I have left the home honeymoon stage and fully entered the reverse culture shock yet, but all I know is that I miss Cape Town like crazy. I miss my friends, my RA’s, my view, my nasty flat, yeah… even my Political Philosophy class!

As I wrap up my Study Abroad experience I thank GOD that Facebook is an invention, because all of my friends and I are consistently chatting and staying in touch. I can’t wait for our reunions both in the U.S and abroad.

It’s not goodbye Cape Town, it’s just see you later!

That’s all folks! Peace out Cape Town, you’re a gem!

That’s my city!

P.S.- So to answer my own title of this blog, NO, this is not the end, it is more like the beginning of a long life filled with great friends and great travels

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Alexandra Szotka

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alexa is a sophomore at Ithaca College studying both Public Health and Politics, while also hoping to dapple in her new found interest in gender studies. She grew up in Windsor, Connecticut, famous for being the first town in Connecticut. When Alexa doesn&#39;t have her nose in a book, she can be found singing, eating (especially anything pumpkin), being sarcastic or exploring the fantastic world that we are lucky enough to call home. Studying in Cape Town in a dream come true, and Alexa is ready and willing to soak up every last bit of adventure that comes her way!</span></p>

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