Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coming Home

Two weeks.  Yes, it most definitely takes at least two weeks for me to get back in the flow whenever I come home to the U.S. 

I only go back every two or three years and I’ve been living here in France for almost eight years over all. 

After two weeks of hanging out with loved ones, I finally get my Yankee accent back and stop pausing between words with a very french ‘eeehhhhh’. 

In two weeks, the commercials every five minutes don’t wig me out or make me feel like they’re intentionally enhancing attention deficit disorder.

In two weeks, I can handle the food.  The smell of greasy pizza that permeates most shopping centers and highways becomes second nature to me once again.  Eating meals that have so much flavoring, cheeses, spices, salts or batters that it becomes hard to identify the base ingredients doesn’t phase me in. the. least.

After two weeks, I’m able to go into a grocery store without having a panic attack.  The boxes and bottles and pre-prepared everyfreakingthing doesn’t creep me out as much.  So what if it takes me twenty minutes to find plain couscous or I have to drive forty minutes to find fish fresh enough to make sushi?  No big deal!

In two weeks time, I stop being ‘french’ and find my way back to my roots.  However, this time around, I only went back to the United States for...

Four days.

Thank God it was four days of whirlwind activity.  My cousin was getting married.  I was a bridesmaid.  I went straight from Boston airport to the rehearsal dinner and just kept going from there.   In four days I managed to go to the wedding rehearsal, go shopping, get out to my favorite restaurant for some New England baked stuffed lobster, and (more importantly) out to the old town bar for a drink.  

Then there was the wedding, the reception, and the after party.   Monday I went back to my highschool and spoke with all the french classes about how I ended up in France and the differences in culture and language.  My first french teacher was still there and she was ecstatic to have me.  I have to say lots have changed since I was in highschool.  My old school was torn down and they built a beautiful modern school over it.  I was so jealous of the neat morning announcements with the principle saying the pledge of allegience on screen and an honest-to-goodness student news program like something out of 90210.  I’m pretty sure I was the only one in the whole class who listened to the program though…

But again, like I said, it was only four days.  I had no time to watch television (thank god).  No one expected me to go food shopping (if I had, they probably would have found me eight days later looking like Tom Hanks in ‘castaway’).

 Due to the time difference, fatigue, and my cold, I could barely manage to speak english normally and everyone kept commenting on my ‘accent’ which really just, in my opinion,  sounded like I had woken up from a coma with brain damage.

It was peak weekend for the colored Connecticut leaves and the weather was uncharactaristicaly warm at around 75 degrees tuesday!  All in all I had an amazing trip!  Thank you all for your well wishes last week and I look forward to catching up with you!

To start- how was everyone’s weekend?:)

*CQG*

31 comments:

Shainer said...

I hope you get over your cold. I took French in high school and I would hate to admit what little I remember.

Melissa Gill said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Sometimes a short trip is the best.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Welcome back, Katie! You were missed.

I didn't realize going back to the US would be such a culture shock. But I felt the same way when I first when back to England after living in Houston Tx for a year (I was 12 yo). And my accent belonged to no man's land (still does). In England, I was called a Yankee. In Houston, I sounded very British. No wonder I developed an identify crisis! ;)

Matthew Rush said...

Wait, so you've been missing all the riots and such in Frnace? Or not riots, I guess, but lockdowns of the ports and oil refineries?

LTM said...

sigh... you are so much better than me. I've been in so-Ala coming up on seven years now and I still can't do this:

"Eating meals that have so much flavoring, cheeses, spices, salts or batters that it becomes hard to identify the base ingredients..."

I miss home~ ;p

Dawn said...

Wow. That's a whirlwind trip. So...how WAS the bridesmaid experience? Hope you have a couple days to recoup...xo

Laura Pauling said...

Okay, so your post begs the questions - what's it like to live in France? And welcome back!

Joanna St. James said...

just 4 days? am still jealous though and yeah you missed the teargas day, all the protesters in all the towns I saw on tv were tear gassed, even in our little town where only people in their 60's and up participated in the protests.
oh well welcome back.

salarsenッ said...

You were right in Boston?!! I know you were mega busy, but it would have been great to catch up with you. Grr...I'm only three hours away and I love Boston; although, you did just mention the Yankmess'. *shiver* Bluck. LOL

Indigo said...

Loved this. Simply because there is so much here, I take for granted. It's refreshing seeing the US through different eyes. Welcome back! (Hugs)Indigo

Old Kitty said...

Wow! Now that's what I call a whirlwind trip!! Amazing!! Glad you had time to visit your old (now newly built!) school though - and it sounded like you had a blast!! :-)

I hope you are not too jetlagged and I hope you have time now to rest and get over your cold! Mon Dieu!! :-)

Take care
x

Lisa Gail Green said...

Four days does seem short for that far of a trip!! But it sounds like (aside from the cold) it was fun. So that's good.

Jen Daiker said...

Wow! Sounds amazing! How cool to get to talk to your old school and see all that has changed and sharing your story!!! Holy cow though, only 4 days! That sounds super crazy!

I thought driving 17 hours to my hometown staying for 2 days was rough... you've officially beat me.

As for my weekend? Well I'm pretty sure you saw the birthday suit, nuff said!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

OMGosh, just four days? I know, from making the trip numerous times between France and the US, how exhausted you must have been. Glad to hear you had a great trip. Now get some rest!

*bisous* Nicole

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow - four days only? You must be exhausted. Hope the wedding was lovely, now go to sleep!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Holy cow - that is loooonng trip for only four days! You poor thing. It sounds like you had a great time, though, in spite of not feeling well. It's good to have you back. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't been jet-setting, but still on a wild ride with my book release. Glad you had a good time!

Crimey said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip back to the States.

I hope you aren't in one of the parts of France with all the protesting has been. It's been quite a nightmare in some areas.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Glad you had a great, if hectic, four days. :)

I kicked the cold over the weekend, so I eased myself back into writing. :)

Melissa said...

Glad you had a great four days, even if they were a bit crazy.

I'm in sociology right now and learning/realizing just how different the cultures around the world are is crazy!!

Candyland said...

SOSOSOSOSO glad you're back!!!!!!

Colene Murphy said...

Wow! Sounds like you had a good time, as hectic as it seemed. Hope you feel better soon though!
(and soo glad you're back!

Susan Fields said...

Glad you had a great trip (even if it was a whirlwind). :)

Slamdunk said...

Wow, I think you earned some recovery time after that whirlwind tour. My in-laws have friends from Italy visiting and they are staying (you guessed it) 2 weeks.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I adore your ex-pat perception of the US. The country of excess. It's so bad--we really need some enlightenment, don't we? But where is the profit in that?

Glad you made it back and don't seem much worse for the wear!

Talli Roland said...

I can't believe you went there and back in FOUR DAYS! I always feel weirded out for at least that long.

I hear you on the transition. For me, malls always seem so weird, and all the things there are to buy there! And places like WalMart! We do have that stuff here but it's on the outskirts of the city. I live in central London where massive malls are definitely not the norm!

Welcome home!

Lenny Lee! said...

hi miss katie! im real happy youre back. sounds like you shoulda had roller skate for all the stuff you did so fast. now you just got get back at blogging.
...hugs from lenny

Carolyn Abiad said...

4 days! Is that even enough to feel the jetlag?

PS. I always thought the "ehhhh" was inserted so I could figure out what the next word should be... ;)

Janet Johnson said...

Oh, you make me miss France! Not that I ever lived there, but a French speaking country is close enough, right?

Such a different life though. You forget.

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

That sounds like a hell of a trip! I always enjoy coming home after being away for a while and getting my local accent back :)
I've not lived outside of the UK, that would be a pretty cool experience though, especially when coming back and seeing how everything's changed.

Lola Sharp said...

Dude, whirlwind indeed! You squeezed all the fun in such a short time. I bet you're jet lagged, especially with a cold. That's so sweet that you went to your old (new) school and French class. You were kind to do that on such a short, busy trip.
(BTW, it was still crazy warm today...80 and humid! Tomorrow/Fri. is finally supposed to really cool down. The Northeast weather has been weird this year.)

I've never heard the story of how you came to live in France. If you have posted on it, email me the link, k?

I'm glad you're back 'home' now, safely.
Love,
Lola

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