In Transition. . .
Two weeks back on USian soil and in some ways I feel I've never left. This might be because I'm back at my parent's house, in wee Austin, MN more or less house bound because the thought of driving a minivan makes me nervous and there's really nothing to do in town, which is where I was before I left for China. In other ways, I think I know what those people who've been “abducted” by aliens feels like. I've returned to a planet that's as blue and green as Crayola crayons, that's inhabited by huge people who like to buy huge things (“Family-sized” bags of chips, two gallon jugs of milk, 12-packs of beer and soda, packages of Hostess cupcakes and other sugary, processed goods, SUVs) and live in huge, sprawling spaces that could easily fit one of the six-story concrete block apartment buildings that I used to live in. Also, people drive everywhere-- there's so much space between everything. No electric bikes or even regular bicycles to clog the streets. And they drive so slow, but, stay within the bounds of the yellow or white lines on the road. My eyes and brain where overwhelmed with all this forgotten, filed-away information for a couple days, but I slid into regular habits and patterns pretty quickly. Except I'm still dumbfounded by my parents impotent electric stove and why don't they already own a wok and soy sauce? It's almost too easy. Forgot reverse culture-shock. I wonder, did I go anywhere, did I dream the past couple of years? It was aliens, wasn't it! But I'll get an email from China, or I'll look through photos of myself with a group of young women holding chopsticks over a bubbling bowl of soup, or I'll find a forgotten train ticket from Anyang to Beijing shoved in my wallet. I did go somewhere, something did happen! But how it affected me is. . . unquantifiable. I've adjusted, but. There's just a sense that I've changed in some way and figuring out how this slightly-different me, this me that's been at the whims of an alien planet for a couple years fits back into her home planet. . . maybe that'll take a little more time. * cross-posted at a little coffee

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