It used to be that when I go abroad and come back to Narita airport, I get into a mental zone of inverse cultural shock, finding the atmosphere of my home country somewhat strange, as if I am witnessing it through the eyes of a foreign visitor.
Nowadays, the transition is more smooth. But the metacognition runs deep.
Each culture has its own merits and limits. I seem to discern more accurately the scopes and borders of the context of my native culture, as I shuttle between Japan and abroad. It is not that the context of the English-based civilization, for example, is broader than that of Japanese-based civilization. It is just that they are different.
Home coming has a bittersweet aftertaste. As I get into the rapid train connecting Narita airport and central Tokyo, recollections of the London atmosphere rapidly disappears, and I am left to adapt to the familiar cultural contexts of my mother country, in which I sometimes feel like a stranger.
But then I would feel like a stranger in any single cultural context, mother or foreign.