Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stuff about America that I never quite got used to

We leave the US tomorrow to head back to the UAE. Six weeks in America was not long enough to get used to:

Ethnic people speaking in flawless American accents. In the UAE, for the most part, black people are actually from Africa and Indians are actually from India and Chinese people are actually from China. You know what I mean? It's amazing to me that an American can look like anyone, from anywhere.

Expensive gas. I have to say, I'm glad to leave this behind. Of course we don't drive around in the UAE burning gas for the fun of it because it's so cheap, but here in the US you really have to watch your errands habits because gas is freaking $4/gallon. I was also overwhelmed by the idea that you have to spend brain energy maintaining awareness of which stations are cheaper, and which loyalty cards you have, and blah blah blah.

Public libraries. Really! The public library as an institution has to be one of my favorite things about the United States, and one of the things I miss the most when we're living abroad. Our whole visit here, I could not get over the fact that there was a nice building with lots of books in it that were free for the borrowing. Sigh.

Cheap and accessible and plentiful and fresh root beer and bacon and non-UHT milk and cheeses of all kinds and ice cream and breakfast cereal and Fuji apples and seedless grapes and random ingredients I can never find in the UAE, like ground cloves or cream of tartar. You guys, they sell that stuff right on the shelf here. It's amazing.

Temperate and varying weather. Wait, so there's a thing called a weather forecast that you can consult to aid in planning outdoor excursions? Because sometimes the weather changes from day to day? Weird. And REFRESHING.

Calm drivers. I think Portland has especially calm drivers, but no matter where we were, I kept checking the rearview mirror to keep a clear eye out for manic drivers in huge SUVs flashing their brights at me from right on my tail to get me to move out of the left lane so they could zoom by. Never happened. Not once.

It's been a long visit, but a great one. I think the grandparents put a lot of effort into helping us have a really fun time so they could convince us to visit next summer instead of two years from now. It's been non-stop fun around here, that's for sure, and I'm sad to see it come to an end.


Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you've had a great trip and I love your perspective on American life!

Kathy Haynie said...

Hope the travels are uneventful! Although you tell such wonderful travel stories... Till your next post. :)

Steven said...

So.... when is the next time you'll visit? Next summer maybe? :)

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Whenever you come back to Oregon, it is my turn to meet you! ;-)

Bridget said...

It would be my pleasure. :)

Bridget said...

Next summer or summer 2014.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

If you are here next year we will definitely still be here in Brightwood. It is about halfway up the mountain, right before Welches. The only thing is, if you stay for a night or two, you take at least one day hike. Luckily we have extra bedrooms and about 20-25 trailheads within a 15 minute drive.

I am pretty sure i should be mostly through with PT for my back by next spring! Yeah! We still aren't sure what Scott's contract will be for 2014, but I am almost positive we will be in Oregon, even we aren't in the same house. Either way, just like my mom and dad, Scott and I would always rather be hiking,

Any other globe trotters who want to wander around Mt Hood, let me know! It is always fun to meet new people!


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