I have been back on US soil for exactly a week now. In this time I am fairly certain I have eaten my body weight in cheese. And again in chocolate chip cookies. Seriously, where has smoked Gouda been all my life?
I drove for the first time since being back yesterday afternoon. I went to see my friend Lauren and her new baby. I almost drove the speed limit.
The trick to survive being back here, I think, is instincts. Or muscle memory. I have to do things on instinct and not think about them. If I think, I go crazy. Like trying to remember if I can make a left hand turn in a turn lane when the other lights are green but mine is not. Or which interstate exit to take. Or that twist-cap bottles exist.
Every day I find some new little orgasmic slice of gastronomical bliss. Like blueberries. Wow.
Every day, at least on those days when I leave hiding and emerge from my parents' house, I find at least one culturally inappropriate thing, for the US, that I must unlearn. Like the two handed wave. Or talking about nursing. Or drinking beers at 9 am.
On the way to and from my friend Lauren's last night, I listened to the radio. X-103, Indy's New Rock/Alternative. In about 2 hours of listening I hear approximately 8 new songs. 2 of these were repeats, so I heard 6 new songs. And a lot of other songs that I havent heard in 3 years but to which I could still sing along. So much for the music scene since I have been away. I find it interesting that "new rock" can still be new after 6 years.
Driving, or riding in cars, here makes me quietly panic. I feel like Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Everyone drives so fast. And there are no obstacles, like huge potholes, or washouts, or wrecks, or goats, or slow motos, or people on the road to dictate what drivers are going to do. And there are cops. Everywhere. To whom I cannot slip a cadeau so that they leave me alone.
It is very nice to be re-acquainted with my cat. He just jumped up on my lap. When I am depressed and bored here I go snuggle him and feel better. He does remind me of Tadji, and Nigarmi, and Ningan. My Togolese cats. This is sad.
The other hard part about being back, well one of them, is the feeling of uselessness. I used to have a purpose in life. Now I have to find another purpose.
I ordered a new Macbook Pro the other day. This might make me happier. I can engage in retail therapy here at least