Seven planes, three buses, a smattering of subways, skytrains, taxis, boats, and some walking thrown in for good measure and I made it back to America. (USA, not actually home yet, but it is America.)
Whoa. People are driving on the right side of the road. I spent US dollars and boy did they look weird. Do you know how nice it is to buy something without converting the price in your head? People have no accent that is noticeably different from mine. They are speaking English, beautiful English. I can read the signs. Things are measured in miles and farenheit. Whoa.
The night before I left Bangkok felt strangely familiar and completely different. I spent the night, like so many nights in Madagascar, packing more things into my bag than I ever thought would fit, then watching TV on my computer in a hotel room. I had that strange feeling that is half “I can’t wait to get home” and “I don’t wanna leave.” Only this time “home” meant America, it meant flying on a big fancy plane, it meant a totally different life.
I’m excited to be in America, to see my friends and family. I’m excited about bagels and apples and salads, washing machines and refrigeration and being able to call you whenever I feel like it. I’m sad that my travels are over and definitely feel like I need to spend more time exploring both Asia and Africa. I’ll miss the mangoes and rice and constantly warm weather, having conversations that consist completely of drawn out vowel sounds and checking my email so infrequently that there’s always something interesting in the inbox.
I got to the U.S. and immediately got an email about a job interview—great news but also a scary reality check, I need to figure out the next step. I need to figure out how to be an American in America again. I went to a coffee shop and ordered a bagel, and the clerk asked me if I was sure that I wanted it, seeing as they didn’t have a toaster. Seriously? Of course I want that bagel. And what the hell is a toaster?
So thanks again for following along on my Malagasy adventures. Stay tuned for accounts of my re-adjustment, I’m sure it will be entertaining.