Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reacclimating After Three Years Abroad

It's been two weeks and I still catch myself at random moments, like in line at the grocery store, being blown away by the fact that I'm actually living in the States again. Forty months was a long stretch to be away from friends, family and the culture that resonates subconsciously in my bones, and now suddenly it's done. After learning how to numb the distance, it's been invigorating to not have to anymore. I guess maybe that's part of what they call culture shock. It's good f@#%ing awesome to be home.

Right now our actual home is an old warehouse building turned into loft spaces in the Arts District of downtown L.A., near Little Tokyo. I've gotten used to living out of my suitcases, which is a good thing since the cargo ship carrying the rest of our stuff won't arrive here until some time in November. Being forced to live minimally has been a good reminder that there's a lot of crap I don't really need (except for my books and art supplies. Missing that stuff for sure).

Re-immersing back into U.S. culture has been a trip. Little things blow my mind. Giant stores like Ralphs and Target that carry anything and everything. Cars yielding to pedestrians. Everyone speaking English. Then there's the food. After friends and family, food has definitely been one of the highlights since returning from the land of beef, especially since I'm not much of a beef eater. Mexican food. Sushi. Vietnamese. Thai. New York style pizza. Did I say it's good to be home?

One of the biggest adjustments since returning, besides going from spring to fall and losing a summer, has been transportation. Annie and I made the decision to get bikes and Metro passes, and roll car-free. Mass transit in Buenos Aires is cheap and extensive, and we had gotten used to living in the city without a car. In L.A. it's definitely more of a challenge, and I admit being skeptical of it working at first, but not only does it seem totally doable living and working downtown or near the Metro lines, it's been the bomb to be out shredding a city on two wheels again.

So yeah, after two weeks, I'm still definitely dealing with some culture shock, but the only really byproducts of it have been giant grins and an occasional dance when no one's looking, so I'm not really sweating it too much right now.

The Last Stop
Above: One of my favorite moments since being back was Day 10. Battled city buses across L.A. just so I could touch the Pacific and tell her I made it home.

Currently Listening To:

Song: Home
Artist: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (official site)

Currently Reading:
Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey
by Chuck Palahniuk