Monday, July 16, 2012

Culture shock, or, Visiting America

Hi from the States. It is weird to be here.

I stopped in a gas station the other day to scratch my Diet Coke itch.  The attendant gave me change. I stood there and stared at it until I realized that I was looking at pennies and dimes.  They looked fake.

My cats are twice as big as I remember them.  I think I am used to small Togolese cats.  And the clouds are far away.

To get to America, D and I flew out of Accra.  We got a car at the border and got to Accra in like 3 hours.  The driver bounced through traffic with the sullen abandon of someone who has seen a piece of road too many times and would rather be almost anywhere else.  But we got there.  We flew to Amsterdam and then to Detroit.  We ate lunch with her parents, then I got a flight to Indy. 

I went to Walmart my second day back.  I have never been conscious of my eyes getting round before.  Then my sister told me that I couldnt carry a bag of cat food on my head. 

Its taken about 3 days for my head to stop hurting and for things to slow down.  Except for driving.  Americans drive way too fast.  I drove into town today.  Going the speed limit was bad enough.  Driving gives me the shakes.  Wheels literally do fall off of cars (true story).

There are new buildings, and some that have been torn down, since I left.  Various Dollar General stores seem to have grown like some malignant, oozing tumor in my absence.  I keep expecting them to burst and spew pus riddled plastic junk across the landscape. 

I have realized that Togolese actually have decent beer.  Not great, but drinkable.  Definitely better than the popular US brands that begin with B, M, and C.  Most definitely better than Ghanian beer too.

 Hi Ryan

Miracles do happen.  On my second day back I found a TV channel that was showing repeats of college football games from last year.  Ah. Bliss.

When I got back to my parents house I went to take a shower.  I left it cold.  Then I got out.  Into the a/c.  I started shivering. 

A/C has actually been a problem for me.  D and I were both freezing on the planes and in the airports.  It screws with my sinuses.  I sleep with my windows open at night because I'm more comfortable with the breeze. 

The second day I got back one of my mom's horses got colic.  This basically means its intestines got knotted up.  The vet came out, but there was nothing to be done.  One shot later and 1500 pounds of horse collapsed on the ground.  It was the horse that I'd learned how to ride on. Welcome back I guess. 

I feel like posting some pictures

Nighan and kittens before the departure

Snake killing outside D's compound just before we left.  It was in a concrete block.  Its some kind of cobra

the clouds coming in over a mountain outside of D's village

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