Monday, July 1, 2013

Three Years Later-Home

Lots of beautiful sunsets here
It has been almost three years since I left the US to live overseas and I am back in the US for the first time. So far, I don't think it has been too big of an adjustment. I have heard lots about reverse culture shock, but maybe I haven't been home long enough to feel it. I have noticed a few things that are different like all of the buildings seem very squat since only one building in my home town is seven stories and the rest are usually only one but are long and wide. We have way more land so we don't need to build tall buildings.

Not much traffic on the road
To get to a mall I have to drive at least two hours, but I am not much of a shopper, so that doesn't bother me. Things are spread out here, so it is pretty quiet. There are very few motorcycles and lots of large trucks. There is not much traffic on the road. It was easy switching back to driving on the other side of the road. I always struggled with knowing how wide the vehicle that I drove in Indonesia was and I was always afraid of running into things, but as soon as I got in my car over here I knew exactly how wide it was. The first day when my parents picked me up I did think a few times that my Dad was driving on the wrong side of the road.

View from a backyard 
There are tons of stops signs and stop lights around here and I have to stop more often. I also cannot pass cars that are going slow whenever I want. One of my first days here I was following my Dad home and I heard this funny noise, so I thought it was something wrong with his truck. He pulled over and so I pulled over. Anyway it was an emergency vehicle coming, but it wasn't a siren like they used to have. So, it reminded me I have to pull over for emergency vehicles. I don't remember the names of streets. So, when my parents try to give directions to places some I remember but others I don't remember and I kind of have to drive around until I find it. It is weird to go places and everyone speaks English and I know what they are saying. It is much harder not to eavesdrop on accident if people are speaking loudly. I love the fact that I know longer stick out and I blend in. I am not a center of attention type of person, so I like not having people staring and taking pictures of me. I do miss having people more covered up even if they aren't Muslim, especially some of the clothes people are wearing are not flattering and body parts are hanging out.


The weather right now is beautiful. It is warm since it is summer, but it is not super hot and there is very little humidity. I don't sweat very often and I don't have to wear mosquito repellent. I smell better too because I don't have to eat lots of onions and garlic to help repel mosquitoes. I have missed my cats, so I am glad to be with them again. I will miss them when I have to leave them again. Snickers only took about a day to forgive me, let me pet her, slept on my lap and slept with me the second night. Onyx has taken two weeks to warm up to me, but yesterday she finally slept on me and next to me for a few hours.

I have enjoyed being with my parents too. I have seen a few friends, but it is summer and I know many of them are busy with their summer plans. I had someone tell me that when I got not to expect too much from people because for some they don't have anything that exciting that they have done. Others have moved on with their lives and although they remember me I am not really apart of their life anymore. I did go to a music festival and I had lots of people who had blank looks on their faces when I said hi to them. It didn't bother me at all, but it was just kind of funny. I recognized and remembered all of them, but I guess I also knew that I would probably be running into them, whereas since they hadn't seen me for three years and probably not many of them knew I was back in town or expected to see me since I have been gone for three years.

I am enjoying having some of my favorite foods again, but am trying to be careful and not having any of the junk food that I didn't have available to me and that I have learned to live without. I do enjoy having good bread though. The few times I have been to restaurants the portions have been way to big for me.
Do I miss people I met overseas? I sure do. There are a few people I won't miss, but there are many I do miss. It is hard not to see them and talk to them everyday after doing it for a year or two, but that is part of moving around. I missed people a lot when I first moved overseas and then after awhile I still missed them but I missed them less.  It will be interesting as time goes on how I continue to adjust to being back in the US.