Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reports of Reverse Culture Shock are Greatly Exaggerated

I think I can officially say it. The readjustment really wasn't that bad. I was expecting it to be hard, but really, coming back was just not that big of an issue. Things were about the same as when I left. People don't seem to love Obama quite as much, but on the whole, not a lot has changed.

(Somehow, my being 1/2 of the Obama Brothers didn't get me through the White House gate)

People have been asking me a lot about what the best and worst parts about being back are. Honestly, I think the answer to both is just how easy things are here. If you need to do laundry, or replace a broken light bulb, or buy produce, you just do it. No brazenly disinterested shopkeepers, no obstacles, no bargaining. Just exchange money for goods and/or services, and be on your way, credit cards accepted.

(Farmers Market in Copley Square)

But that's also the problem. Living here, there's not that much mystery. That great feeling of waking up and having no idea what kind of trouble you'll get into that day is, sadly, pretty far gone from my life these days. Maybe there is a way to find it again, and believe me I'm looking, but so far, no luck. Just organization beating out chaos, every step of the way.


("A little road just for bikes.")

It's been a bit more than a month now that I've been back. I just took the last of my malaria meds, which means so long LSD dreams (which I'll miss, even though they really got less intense right around the time we made the switch to the Made-in-India variety). I'm looking for a job and plotting my move out west. A few other thoughts:

I'm missing all the fresh food and floored by the cost of mangoes at the grocery store.

I'm loving having microbrews back in my life, except when the bill comes.

The rude, ignorant people at Best Buy made me nostalgic for the cheerful, goodhearted incompetence of their Ugandan counterparts.

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