Monday, November 13, 2006

Back from the motherland

Arrived back yesterday. Doing better than I expected, but still didn't make it in for the first day back at work. Just couldn't do it. I spent more than a year (since my last trip to the US) integrating into Scottish life. 10 days away and now I'm a foreigner again. It's weird. I just couldn't bring myself to face people and have conversations. I am, again, a stranger in a strange land.

Most of the time I tend not to look on my former American life and those who current live their American life (not you) with favour. And you should know why. If not, here's an abridged list: your President; his foreign policy; his domestic policy; the lemming-like support to the war (especially in the area in which I lived); utter cluelessness of other cultures other than American; enormous, gas-guzzling cars; ignorant and racist rednecks; politicians that let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; the customs official in Minneapolis who welcomed me "back home"... don't make me go on.

I have found that there is one thing I miss about that stupid American life: familiarity. I know that I'll always get my favourite foods; know how to get somewhere; know what someone means and, if not, being ask; good service at restaurants; a thousand varieties of anything at every store. I know it's nostalgia talking, but it didn't help being there and seeing that it was all true.

Coming back into Edinburgh brought me back a wee bit. There are two queues coming off the plane, one for citizens of EU states and other European countries and one for other people. Two people huffily joined my queue when they were redirected by customs officials. "Excuse me," the American man said, "Why are we being sent here?" "Yeh," chimes his daughter. Reason was explained. "Well, how are we to know that?" he asked, indignant. The same way all the other people in the queue knew -- by the sign at the entrance of the queues. The daughter snorted at this, as if this was the most ludicrous thing she had ever heard of. I won't miss those kinds of Americans.

Unfortunately, they seem to populate this place.


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