Change Yourself…Change The World.

Thanks, Giardia!
August 4, 2009, 1:31 am
Filed under: USA

I am finally back in the United States, after being gone for eight months (I keep saying nine months, but then people remind me that it’s actually been eight… eight months it is). This is the longest that I’ve been out of the US in my entire life. All in all, I’ve been out of the US for about a year and three months now (out of the past two years).

Coming home is never easy. The jet lag. The adjustment to Western conveniences, like actual toilets, hot water, food that is not infested with bugs. Having conversations with Americans, where you realize you’ve been talking like a retard for the past two months because no one speaks English in the places you’ve traveled to, so you’ve had to get by on majorly dumbing down your language. Even my stomach has refused to adjust to the USA- it utterly rejected two meals in a row, which resulted in a trip to the good old hospital. The nemesis? Giardia, a water-born parasite. I was having some major problems in India that basically forced me to eat only bread for four days. With the lucky combination of bananas, yogurt, and some herbal powder, my stomach had calmed down by the end to start taking more normal food- but the complex diet of the US (sugar, fat, twenty different ingredients in one plate) led my stomach to a grinding halt again. Luckily, I haven’t had too much problems since then, but I’m still monitoring my system pretty carefully.

Another strange thing about coming home- seeing your family. Or maybe it’s your family seeing you. I don’t know. If it WASN’T strange enough coming back to the US after eight months abroad, it was even stranger to see my extended family that I haven’t had much contact with in years, and to go to Chicago (my birth place) and Wisconsin, two places I have not been in years. Double the crazyness, double the… fun? Or shall we say, weirdness? Or normalness? I feel that is what it’s like being back in the US. So normal, it is incredibly weird. I haven’t been to Chicago in five years? Cool, that’s normal. I visit my fake cousins in their mansion in Chicago that I used to frequent to every weekend when I was a kid (and it all looks exactly the same)? Cool, that’s normal. Driving around Lake Geneva and going to all of the old restaurants that I haven’t been to since I was 11? Sure, why not?

Basically my life has been crazy. It’s been SO easy to adjust back to the United States and the life and the family and the friends, that it is incredibly difficult, confusing, and… hard on my stomach. Let’s see where the next two weeks takes us.

Much love,


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[…] I advised against it. Having picked up giardia (I love that the CDC calls it a germ. It’s a parasite) more than once in my Asian travels, I was in no hurry to swim the rushing waters of Dunhinda […]

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