Saturday, August 30, 2014

I flap when cold apparently

One of the things I was good at before leaving was knowing what was going on. Local events, memes, new technology, emerging bands. I was on that. Coming back, sometimes it's odd because I expect to still be at the edge of that knowledge, and some other people expect me to be there. But instead, I staring at the google search page thinking, where should I go?

Regardless, I'm trying to hop on the band wagon as soon as possible which is why I had to do the ASL challenge.
Haha! I don't handle cold well.

I'll be back into the swing of knowing things soon, hopefully. Until then, I'm a little overwhelmed but having fun catching up.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The post-Ethiopian mindset

So, it's pushing three weeks since my return and I think I'm okay on American things and amenities (though I had to totally ask my sister to show me how to close the patio umbrella). But what I've been noticing more now is the mental changes.

Case in point - Target trips. I left my sister with the cart to grab an extra anti-malarial. Due to confusion as to what this drug was, and how to get payment from PC, I was there awhile. Logically, my sister should have been done looking at the rugs I left her by and was hanging near the check-out/paying. 

But my logic works a lot differently than hers.  I'm more in and out. I need this, I look at only this, and if it's not there I'm gone.  My sister on the other was more A rug for my room would be nice, this one is pretty, oh, so it that one, and are those shelves? I want some of those too. At the very least, those little stick on hooks.  

I don't look at other items. I don't think, oh, that's nice or, oh, that would be useful. I'm a lot more practical.  I used to walk into Target and meander the junior's section. Now I walk by without giving it much attention.

I know some of my fellow RPCVs find the choices at Target to be too overwhelming, one guy actually had to walk back out while his family finished shopping, and I wonder if I'm just blocking that out like I used to do all the verbal harassment I got. Too many choices for my mind to process - so it doesn't.  Or I'm just really, really aware of what I need now and only go for that. I'm hesitant to call it thrifty, I threw money around in Ethiopia like I never did here, but it seems like it in comparison to my sister's habits.

But I'm also finding my feelings towards people changing too.  A bit ago it was 4pm and a guy asked me and my sis to join him and some friends in a game of pool, offering to cover our tab and order more drinks. I kept thinking he wanted something from me, a kiss, maybe more, or at the very least to stare at my butt while I line up a shot. He had to have some sort of ulterior motive. My sister just shook her head at me and said all he wanted is someone to pass time with, a bit of socializing.

And true enough, we exchanged numbers (and I thought I learned how to say 'no' over there) and he's never called me.

In Ethiopia, that guy would have called me at least three times by now in a local version of a booty call.

Plus, consumerism. It's so odd, there's so much stuff everywhere that's not needed, and I find it kinda pitiful I know people with a laptop, smart phone, ipod, and tablet.  But then I realize you kinda need things like that because if you don't have a smart phone you're laughed at, you miss e-mails and alerts because you don't flip open your HP every three hours that your boss requires you to keep up to date with.  It's kinda crazy.

Don't get me wrong, I like having the Internet at my fingertips and able to look up song lyrics whenever I want.  But logging into Facebook every hour? Crazy.  (And a regular blogging schedule? Even crazier! What new thing could possibly have happened in such a short period of time?)

It's this thought adjustment that's starting to materialize that's really making me understand what sort of effect Ethiopia had on me.  And I'm rather glad, because for awhile there I was worried at how easily I was moving back into being here. I wanted solid proof that I had spent two years in Huruta other than those random moments when I thought I haven't had grass under my feet in ages!

Wanting proof is also why I'm going to continue to roast and grind my own coffee on the stove.