The sun has set on our European adventures and it’s time to claim back our homeland as, well, home.
For now, we’ve parked our suitcases in the Northern Virginia / Washington, D.C. area while we prepare for a cross-country road trip to Palo Alto, California. I fill my days catching up on 4 years of family gossip, eating Mexican food like a starved cat, and watching the leaves change in my Appalachian mountains.
I buy a “no contract” cell phone (AKA drug dealer phone) and call my friends and family with reckless abandon. Although we’re still different time zones, at least calling Mom in California doesn’t cost me a kidney.
“How are you adjusting? Are you ‘American’ yet?” Mom wants to know.
Culture shock in your own country? It can happen, people. I’ve developed a hypersensitivity to the flickering visual crack that is American television. And the hours of car time – I’ve no tolerance for it. In the 4 years I lived in London, I have seen the inside of a car only a handful of times. I made up all that lost time my first day back in the U.S.A. Give me the tubes at 17:30 in London anytime over D.C. rush-hour traffic!
And don’t get me started on the food portion sizes in restaurants.
“I don’t know,” I finally answer her. “Ask me again in a few weeks.”
Maybe 3,500 miles of American highways, roadside diner food, and a few doses of Mello Yellow will get those red, white, and blue juices flowing again.
O great, wide country of possibilities and hamburgers!