Monday, July 13, 2009

culture shock

Things that are weird about being back in America, in no particular order:
*Size. Everything is bigger -- lanes, cars, stores, and people.
*Hearing English everywhere. Americans are LOUD. I can't block it out!
*No one walks. unless it's a workout.
*Customer Service. Servers come to your table multiple times just to see if you're ok! Cashiers make small talk! Managers say hello and thank you for shopping! So strange.
*Flip-flops. Everyone is wearing flip-flops.
*Driving. I can't get used to driving past the stop signs here before I come to a stop. and I really miss the yellow-before-green light.
*Radio stations. I missed American radio -- until I heard the same songs over and over again in only three days. I turned it off.
*Cell phones. Service here is expensive and pretty mediocre.
*Restaurants. They're everywhere. and the menus are overwhelming.

I hope I don't sound critical. I've really loved being back (even while I miss Budapest). but it's so strange to feel this flustered by my own culture! It's weird.

Spent some time with Kathy in Raleigh -- leaving for my four state tour this week! :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm back and jetlag free!

I really should've written sooner, but this wasn't exactly my favorite travel experience, so I kind of wanted to forget all about it! Let's just say I had one of my worst ever headaches and multiple delays. but I made it home after a VERY long day.
and in an interesting case of symmetry... long-time readers may remember my flight to Budapest three years ago, where I nearly missed my connection and Polish Air graciously held the plane for me. I was thrilled. Well, on this flight from Budapest to Warsaw, I was the very first one there. I decided to take no chances!
It did me no good.
About ten minutes before the boarding time, I heard my name announced over the intercom. I was informed there was a problem with my luggage and I needed to talk to the police. So I was led through a maze of hallways and tiny offices until I got to the security area. I had to wait for the police to come, but finally we were able to open the suitcase and investigate the mysterious weapon in my bag.
It was a very high-heeled shoe.
The girl monitoring the process laughed and filled out a ridiculous amount of paperwork. And once again, I had to run (this time dragging my 23 kilo suitcase plus my laptop case and giant purse full of books) to make the plane they were holding for me. whew!

I haven't had much jetlag, but I have been really tired. I haven't done much at all, except see family. But that's been great, so no complaints.

My last mailout is coming soon, but my laptop won't start at all right now, so I can't access my addresses... anyway, if you're one of my financial supporters, don't mail anything after the end of this month; my last paycheck will arrive August 15, and I won't receive any money after that date. Thanks so much for all you've done! It's been amazing to see how well the Lord provides for His children!

I'm beginning to plan a whirlwind trip through Raleigh, Greensboro, Asheville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta soon -- so if you want to meet up in one of those places, let me know!