Saturday, July 03, 2010

Give me ten minutes...

I love being home in America and certainly do not take for granted the fact that teachers get such a long holiday. One of the best parts about being in America is just being normal to the world around me. There's no need to look down to avoid the awkwardness of being stared at, there's no "hello" and snicker as I walk by groups of strangers, and there's no "welcome to China" from new acquaintances ("um...you're 4 years late!"). So, I think my favorite time in America is about 10 minutes after I have re-connected with someone. All the China questions are over and we can just hang out - talk about whatever. China will certainly dominate whatever topic comes up because that's my life and I love talking about my China experience. But it's just life and I'm used to it.
My audience has changed over the years. It's not terribly shocking to me that taxi drivers get out and pee by the side of the road when I'm in the car, or get out and some other guy finishes the drive (who's certified and who's the brother?), or smokes in the car, or plays techno music, or Mariah Carey for 45 minutes because it's American and I must like that, but those are great stories to tell if your audience is American. Most days mine is not. In some ways I forget how to compare things and even though they might be strange for me I realize that it isn't for those around me and probably embarrassing to my Chinese friends if I mention it. So I never know what to talk about in America...give me ten minutes :-)

2 comments:

Daniel McCurry said...

Great thoughts on coming back/being back in the US. I hope your stay is restful and fruitful. Are you planning to return to China?

chinadventure said...

Thanks man. Yep going back for one more year and then not sure what will happen. I'll definitely be leaving the city I'm in now. If I come back I'll be going to language school elsewhere and that will be after one year of "home leave" in the US.