|Flying over Iceland|
As soon as the plane landed in Chicago I got this strange feeling inside. I was a stranger, an outsider, but also I knew I would blend in so seamlessly. I was afraid to slide back into my old life without a fight, to just melt into the crowd and rejoin the army mechanically following the predetermined socially acceptable path into a future of baby showers and 401Ks. I had the overwhelming urge to run, to hide, to just curl up into a ball, shut my eyes and ears and not let any of this stuff leach into me. But of course I couldn't do that, so I pressed forward, with the song lyrics ringing in my head "I'm not afraid of anything, I've got the whole world in front of me", trying to believe them.
Thankfully, I go to Charlottesville tomorrow and school starts Tuesday so I don't have much down time to contemplate my return and likely bawl my eyes out. Keeping such a tight, busy schedule keeps my mind off of all the things I'm missing and the nagging feeling that I'm somehow out of place here.
Anyway, I have to get back to packing for school, but here is a kind of funny list of things I had forgotten about America or things that kind of shocked me coming back Stateside
- Those skinny, flippy light switches. In Russia, almost all the light switches look like this:
- Bugs in the house. My apartment very occasionally had tiny rolly polly things, but I probably saw three spiders my entire time in Russia.
- ICE COMES OUT OF THE FRIDGE DOOR. WHAT.
- Drinking tap water! I wished for this luxury every single day abroad.
- Riding in automatic vehicles! I had forgotten there was an alternative to the herky-jerky life of manual transmission.
- DRIVING <3
- American money is so flat and monochrome
- Everyone sounds like me
- HUGE cups...and to-go cups in general
Seriously, that's like 30 oz
- People eating full meals in public/on the go
- People joke and chat with total strangers
- I spent so long being able to think elaborately but only being able to communicate in short, awkward stutters that I got used to words not really being that helpful. Now I'm shocked that I can communicate so freely and I don't need to plan out my sentences before speaking!
- Air conditioner in the house
- HUGE comfortable bed with fluffy down comforter and pillows
Zuko waking me up on my cloud-bed
- People wearing shoes inside the house
- A totally stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry
- Insane water pressure in the shower
- Everyone dressed so casually
- My mom's house is enormous. How can we take up this much space? Also- 90% of the stuff in my room is complete junk that I just want to disappear and never see again before it inevitably reintegrates itself into my overstuffed, over stimulated, material based life.