It’s been a year since I’ve been back here, and loads of things have changed. At the same time, nothing has changed at all. I’m from a small town in Massachusetts, and there’s something about small towns that never change no matter how many new restaurants move in or what strip malls get rebuilt.
Getting here was annoying. We had a 12 hour flight to London, a 5.5 hour layover, and a 6.5 hour flight here. So yes, we travelled 24 hours to get here. Even though I’ve been here for a bit, I still feel jetlagged and generally in the wrong time zone.
I’ve forgotten a few things about being in America, and I’m not sure if I like them or not.
11. There are American flags everywhere. I know the 4th of July was recently, but seriously; there are flag poles everywhere. It’s impossible to forget what country you are in!
22. American food is really strongly flavored. Something sweet is VERY sweet, while something salty is incredibly salty.
33. You need a car to get anywhere.
44. Every single one of my friends can drive, and many have their own used cars.
55. Trucks. There are so many of them, and they are huge.
66. People are friendlier. “Hey, how are you doing,” is a common phrase, while a simple “hello” is not.
77. There are more adjectives to describe various products. Nothing is just “normal”. Nope, everything is “enhanced”, “new and improved”, “radical”, “dramatically different”, etc. It’s a bit silly.
88. They drive on the wrong side of the road.
99. The bill in a restaurant is brought to you, rather than you going to the front to pay.
110. Service charge and tax isn’t automatically included, so the listed price isn’t actually how much something costs.
111. People talk louder here.
I met up with friends for dinner last night and lunch today. It was really nice seeing people and how things have changed. It’s a bit disappointing to hear about friendships falling apart, but that’s what happens in small towns when everyone has known everyone for too long. I was also somewhat (though not very) surprised to hear about various kids getting into drugs/alcohol/sex. Though it’s a pretty normal thing, the various people who have fallen make me a bit sad. Some of the kids are really smart and were nice (though some were always stupid), so hearing my old friends and classmates do really stupid things is distressing. Overall though, the people I’ve met up with haven’t really changed.
My first college tour, Wheaton College, is tomorrow! I’m so busy here running errands and stuff that I pretty much wake up, eat breakfast, and am gone until the end of the day. It makes me feel kind of bad, because I’ve been meaning to talk to people back home.
I’ve concluded while I’m back in my hometown, this isn’t home anymore.