I'm out of China till the end of August but, just to keep up the blogging habit, here's a list of things in the Western hemisphere that stick out to meafter 11 months in the Eastern one:
- Seeing white (or black) people do manual labor. My first instinct is to shout "Sir, what are you doing up there on that telephone pole? Come down and let's find a Chinese person to do that work for you!" Not trying to be racist, here; it's just been almost a year since I've laid eyes on a non-Chinese doing anything resembling physical activity, for money. "You there, behind the drive-through window; you can be a college professor in a far off land! And you, waiting the tables! You can be a model! Everyone follow me back to China!". Also, white people are long-nosed, big-footed, blue-eyed freaks. Maybe it's just because the first white people I saw back on this continent were Vancouverites, who perhaps dress a bit more liberally than the average North American, but we really do look like barbarians.
- Potable tap water. Our fridge at home has a filtered faucet for drinking water, but now I can't bring myself to use it. Water from the tap tastes like pure liquiddemocracy (with flouride!).
- Blue skies. Every so often in Guangzhou (maybe three times last year) there would be a sky so beautiful that I'd have to call David and tell him to look out the window. All six of the skies I have seen back in Lexington now have been one of those. I know China gets a lot criticism about pollution and probably doesn't need any more from me BUT never again will I take a blue sky for granted.
- Every store and restaurant feels like it must be going out of business. Coming from an intense urban environment like Guangzhou, walking around Lexington feels like I'm on the set of Napoleon Dynamite.
- TV commercials have better animation. This might seem like an insignificant detail, but living in China I really got used to toothpaste and grain alcohol ads looking like production studio splashes from the 80's (i.e. like this). Watching American television now is like watching a shark movie in IMAX. Too real.
And now back to eating rice krispie treats and letting my mom do my laundry.