That having been said, it's being weird being back in America. I think that as a result of being a frequent traveler, it has gotten easier for me to switch into "away" mode, or even what might be described as "international" mode. This sometimes makes it difficult for me to 100% switch back to being an American, or for that matter, being a Nebraskan.
A couple of other things that have been hitting me this past week:
- Noise. In Ecuador, or for that matter, China, SE Asia, and many parts of Europe, they don't do the indoor speakers thing. In America, nearly every venue you visit for dining, coffee, or entertainment comes with its own soundtrack. At Sunday brunch at the Golden Spur Steakhouse (huge portions!) I got hit with both the piped in music AND a video screen displaying the accompanying video. Needless to say, the tabletop conversation suffered.
- Price. I'd told everyone that for my 30th birthday I wanted funds for a new wardrobe. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that one of the things that happens when you move to cheap country like Ecuador and then come back to shop in an expensive country like America you get sticker shock. Hardcore sticker shock. I know a girl paying $110 per month for her unfurnished apartment in Cuenca. I'm sure as heck not paying $110 for pants in Lincoln. Why hello, ebay. . . I've become a fiend. It's like bargain shopping again, only with shipping charges. Ouch!
- Weather. Gusts up to 50 mph today. . . and because I'm inherently Nebraskan, I think that's not that weird. There's also been snow since I've been home, while I know in Cuenca they're not facing much more than rain and you can wear t-shirts even at 8200 feet. Just makes me marvel at the differences the world's geography generates, and motivates me to dig more jackets out of the closet.