I was wearing my pajama pants—solid black, stretchy, loose, and comfortable. My friends were running to the store, and I wanted to go with them. But first, I had to change into jeans and a nice shirt. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house wearing my sweats. I know people in America do it all the time. But I’ve been living in a place where the women dress to the nines to leave the house, so I still feel really self-conscious if I’m not looking halfway decent when I walk out the front door.
“What are you doing next week?” “I don’t know.” I still don’t know. I’m trying to come up with a plan, but I can’t figure out how to do it, since next week isn’t here yet. I’m getting better, but the immediate NOW gets most of my attention. The future-planning me is still waking up after a 2 year hibernation. I’m making to-do lists now, and giving attention to where I would like to go from here.
Laundry is building up, but I don’t have time to get it done and have it dry on the line befo—wait! There are machines for that in America! I can’t get over it. All of my clothes can be completely washed and dried in under 2 hours, and it only takes a few minutes of my attention to make that happen, even if it’s raining outside! Dryers. Wow. Best invention ever. My clothes come out soft, and warm, and my skinny jeans are skinny again. I really can’t get over it.
Imagine if my brothers and their friends came home like this every day, and there were no washing machines or dryers. How lucky are we?
Immersing yourself in a different culture for a significant amount of time is bound to make you approach life a little differently when you get back to “normal” surroundings. The above anecdotes are three ways life has changed for me.
What are some ways you have experienced America differently after leaving it for a time? Comment below.
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