Monday, January 07, 2008

Back in the USA

I have been in the US now for over 2 weeks. This has caused a stir among many friends and family who have never heard of having more than 2 weeks of vacation. That being said, I have one more week to go and am enjoying my European time-off. Finally a long break where I won't be chided by my European colleauges who can't believe I would only take a week off to go to Spain. ("How can you see anything in a week?" they ask).

Today I had lunch with a friend from my old choir in Richmond, VA. I had pho ga, my favorite Vietnamese speciality and one I can't find in Switzerland. It tasted great!

So far other highlights have been:
1. Friendly people
2. People wearing smiles and brightly colored clothes (as opposed to the constant funeral procession in Switzerland of a sea of black).
3. People wearing their pajamas in public with no remorse. (sweat pants, flannels, you name it, people wear it! (see #2, bright clothes))
4. Cheap everything
5. Free water with ICE
6. 32 oz root beers with free refils
7. Being able to chat with cashiers
8. The girl at Target today asking for an ID before she'd swipe the cold medicine I was buying and it not being a huge misunderstanding due to language issues.
9. Having lunch with my mom
10. Remembering that the price for something is never a nice even number because the tax isn't included.
11. 70 degree weather in Richmond in January
12. Seeing the sun
13. Forgetting the rain
14. Doing huge loads of laundry and having them done and dried in an hour
15. English, English, English
16. Knowing exactly what I ordered at a restaurant
17. Shopping with my mom and sister who ask me why everything I'm buying is black (see #2)
18. People using credit cards for a $3 dollar purchase
19. Seeing my old house in Richmond that like me has gone black (see #17). The house now has black shutters and a black door. (It used to be blue).
20. Lucky Charms
21. Seeing my sister, parents, in-laws (yes it's true!) grandma, 92-year old grandpa, aunts, and cousin and lots and lots of friends!!



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