November 4, 2013 by ebostick1212
You could say that being abroad for five years has changed me, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. Whenever I am back in the US, I fall back into a familiar American place, and no amount of travel will change that. Some things are just ingrained within me, by now. Here are some things that I reverted to almost immediately when I got home.
1. I am a workaholic– I said ‘so long’ to the siesta as soon as I stepped back down on American soil. As a new teacher, I cannot afford to siesta every afternoon. I know people think teachers don’t work hard. They get out at 3:00, and have summers off, right? Not so true. I never take a break. I plan and grade during weekends, and work all week. While every so often I long for a siesta, my American mentality kicks in, and I get over it.
2. I drink ridiculous amounts of coffee–I have enthusiastically embraced the 20 ounce cup of coffee. This is the fuel for my workaholism. I know that other cultures don’t lug around giant mugs, but I do now, and I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a strong espresso or a leche manchada like any other Spaniard, but there is something comforting about Wawa’s hot, watery sludge.
3. I drive everywhere–I will be honest, I wish I could change this. I really enjoyed being within walking distance of everything last year. Now I live in the center of Fredericksburg, but I still have to drive to work, and to the store, and to the bank. I try to bike, and walk where I can, but there is no getting around the huge amounts of driving.
4. I eat Chipotle–Chipotle is delicious. Yeah, tapas were great, but you can’t beat those huge burritos, and tasty guacamole. Living in Spain, I would have mail ordered Chipotle if I could. I have definitely earned some jerk points for ordering with a Spanish accent.
5. I call people. All. The. Time.–In Spain, I had a cheapo pay-as-you-go phone, with little to no battery life. Needless to say, I never used it. It was a portable text message machine, because calling a person meant throwing away a ton of money. Now that I have a ‘real’ phone, I am reaping the benefits. 1400 free minutes? Unlimited data? I have finally entered the modern world!
So, I have settled quite well into American life. After all, it is my own. It is my culture, and I love it. The good things, and the bad things. After so many years living in so many places, my own culture seems quite fluid, and I can adapt to the culture around me. Yet when I head home, my own culture always solidifies.