Note No. 59

March 30, 2010

Yesterday, while while whittling down a few hundred e-mails from the thousand or so in my Gmail account, I came across one from a year ago, when I went to visit friends in New York City for a few days. I was not really writing Notes at the time, though, just sending daily updates to my adoring family and a friend.

It seems apt then to post this one now, as I am on the cusp of returning to the States for an indefinite period of time—back to the Land of Fast. When I was there during this trip to the Big Apple, it was one of the first times I had been off the island in 365 days, so it was kind of epic. Furthermore, I had been living outside the States for three years and had only gone home once in that time. I had also not realized before moving from Spain to Mexico HOW DIFFERENT the two would be, so these observations came from a mix of my past lives.

Here. Have a look.

Sitting here with a cream cheese bagel and cuppa coffee, only an hour
left before I should head to the airport. Just a few notes from
yesterday, which was composed mostly of shopping, shopping and some
more shopping, punctuated by window shopping, book browsing and shelf
ogling, followed by really good, very humble Thai food and a visit to
a comedy club for some impressive improv acts:

THINGS I MISS (BUT DIDN’T KNOW I MISSED, BECAUSE I WAS TOO BUSY
MISSING DARK CHOCOLATE, ETHNIC FOOD, MULTIPLE ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS AND QUALITY SHOPPING):

** Flushing my toilet paper
** Rinsing a spoon off in the sink and using it immediately afterward
** Effortless absorption of pop culture
** Bottomless, free glasses of pure water with my restaurant meal
** Rows and rows of glossy, intellectual magazines
** The ease with which you can go up to anyone and ask them anything and they’ll understand you on the first go
** Blending in
** Really good eavesdropping

THINGS I MISS (BUT DIDN’T KNOW I MISSED, BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T EXIST
WHEN I WAS HERE BEFORE)

** Bachelor bread (half a loaf or less)
** Sampler-sized imported cheeses at the grocery

THINGS I DON’T MISS (BUT SECRETLY DO)

** Going into a store and having so many choices of one product, you can’t even buy one, because you’re paralyzed by them all
** A morning commute

THINGS I (REALLY, TRULY) DON’T MISS

(Section under construction)

Of course, those lists do not include more sentimental things, like being able to hold your childhood friend’s new baby or being able to go to your dad’s birthday party.

And I never did go back to finish that last section. My sister immediately suggested I add Cold weather to the lineup, and she was right, though I consider that to be a location-specific thing, up there with Not being surrounded by sea breezes and Not having fresh limes so easily.

Since the NYC trip, though, I have been back to the States several times, so I think that I have a better idea of what I truly do not miss from being home. Here’s an idea:

** Rushing around
** Looking at my watch
** Being on a schedule
** Self-checkout at the store
** Driving everywhere
** The logistics of owning things, like cars
** Understanding politics
** Not being able to so easily tune out the Angry Disgruntled Person behind me in line
** Talking about cell phone plans at parties
** Talking about work at parties
** Talking about Kroger Plus Card specials at parties
** Super duper turbocharged efficiency
** Planning, planning, planning and planning for more planning
** All English, all the time
** Boring predictability

What? You think I’m going to have a seriously rude awakening come May?

You’re probably right.

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