People usually think of travel and living abroad as a great way to learn about other countries and come to love things about their way of living. The flip side–a renewed appreciation of everything you grew up with–doesn’t get discussed as much. Unless you count the never-ending struggle to find peanut butter overseas.
I’ve known since last October that there was a chance I would leave the U.S, and since this April for sure. That’s given me oodles of time to appreciate every last American moment: dancing in a basement dressed as Medusa during a Halloween party; night swimming on the Fourth of July; driving through the Pennsylvania countryside admiring the orchards and ramshackle farmhouses.
Then there’s going home. I can be a real jerk about Glen Burnie, but I found myself enjoying a lot of run-of-the-mill things when I was down last weekend.
The $2.50 crabcakes, the snowball stands, seeing old friends at swim meets, the $5 haircuts at the local barber shop (crews, fades, caesars!), the Natty Bohs at a family get-together, the Bergers cookies, discussing NFL trades, worrying about the state of the area, and the particular haze the air gets from straw, dust and flashing lights at the carnival.
Thanks, France, for reminding me what’s so good about what I already know.