Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Surreal Experience-Back in the U.S.A.

Being back in the USA was a surreal experience, and I wasn’t prepared for many of my "reactions" and observations. When I came to Italy, I knew things would be different and was expecting to notice the differences. I hadn’t expected to notice so many when I went back. Here are a few of the "ah ha’s" I had:

1. I haven’t been on a plane in 5 months, and didn’t even recognize it or miss being there until I got on the plane. Odd, when you consider I flew 36 weeks out of 52 last year once or twice per week, mostly for work, but often for pleasure.
2. I cried when I left Italy
3. I couldn’t believe how "temporary" everything looks in the US. (Lots of metal and pre fab construction)
4. The menus were huge and complicated. The portions were ridiculous!
5. The roads are big and wide, and everything is spread out and huge
6. Everyone was speaking English
7. I froze to death from the air conditioning on the plane, in the airport, in restaurants, in stores, in the car, in the house
8. My eyes swelled up and my allergies started as soon as I got to Nashville. I am allergic to Nashville.
9. I didn’t hear any church bells
10. I only walked from the house to the car and back again instead of the 6-12 miles per day I do in Florence.
11. When I arrived in Philadelphia and went through customs, I felt bad for the people who did not speak English. There did not appear to be any bilingual people assisting in immigration or customs, and the signs were only in English.
12. American coffee sucks......even Starbucks.
13. Some really strange conversations can take place in the presence of pain medications and alcohol.

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