Prostokvasha

[02 September, 2010]

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So, it's been two months since I last wrote here, and in that time I've been to Mexico and back. I meant to write in that time, of course I did. And actually, I did write, mentally, in my head. But my mind was far too often far too overwhelmed and tired by the time I was anywhere near a computer, and nothing materialized here.

So I am back. And I guess I'll start at the end and go backwardly from there.

I was nervous about coming back to the US. I always suffer from a severe culture shock when I return from foreign countries. Most of it having to do with the richness and greediness and the utter sterility and, often, a lack of soul that becomes so apparent about life in the US. I know that people experience this country differently, and in fact, most people love the comforts and the availability of stuff. But I get melancholic. Food starts to taste bland, the landscape only offers sprawling strip malls and oversized houses. Driving, again, becomes a necessity. Conversations start to seem trite and everyone around me carries an air of entitlement. And I don't even live in the most typical place of America. I live in the Bay Area, what with all its ocean life and redwoods, and naked people protesting something or other on almost every street corner. Yes, it's easier than usual to find some sort of meaning to life in this 30 mile radius. But even still, I remember coming back from England (the land of trains, and sheep, and pubs) last year, in tears, as we descended from the Sierra Mountains into the developed, oppressive valleys of Central California.

But this time, we landed in LA (I know, LA! The culture shock should be worse!) and I was quickly scooped away, past all the smog and vanity of the city and into a more rural life along the coast line. There I was met with ocean-fresh air and the smell of pine trees. I could go to the beach, and eat fresh sushi, and feel the dry heat on my shoulders. People were happy to see me, and I was glad to be exactly where I was.

For the first time in my busy two months, I breathed deep down and exhaled loudly. It was good to come home, after all. 

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