Mike here, back in the USA. I've been back for a few days, and it's certainly fucked up. The whole thing feels like a dream. I'm suddenly back home with the parents and it feels like I never left, like I'm back in the same place with maybe a slightly different outlook on life and a serious sour cream habit.
It's quite strange. A few days ago I was sleeping on floors in cramped flats, now I have a whole house to myself since my parents and brother are in Japan. Steve has moved out, like a responsible adult. And I guess I should be looking for a job. But I want to finish this website first, however at this point it feels like I'm a journalist reporting on things that happened to someone else. There are two new entries below. And another maybe 10 or so to come. Yikes.
Being back here is bizarre. It's funny to hear people complain about the roads not being plowed well. There are things that I wont complain about for awhile. Lines, potholes, snowy and icy roads, uncomfortable beds, small spaces, running out of hot water, gas prices, power outages, mean police officers, the employment market, wages, graffiti, slow buses and trains, food prices, war (at least it's somewhere else, not in our homes), people who don't speak English, and the idea of something being 'inconvenient'.
On the other hand, I'm disgusted that the most powerful country in the world can't produce a decent tomato. I went to the supermarket (which was traumatic to begin with), and nothing is green or red. It's all orange and pale. I had to make a trip to the mall (to get a new phone battery), and it was intense. I've always had an aversion to shopping malls, but now I don't know if I'll ever be able to casually set foot in one again. After going I felt like I wanted to shower, to somehow get the filth and guilt off my skin. Maybe we have a little too much money and a little too much space. We certainly have too much gasoline. It's screwing up our priorities in life. Maybe things would be different if we all lived in concrete housing projects. I can say, without hesitation, that the vast majority of people I met seemed much happier than your average American, even if they complained more about problems in their life. PREACH PREACH PREACH JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE, that's what I do best!
Also, during the course of our adventures I don't think we ever had a train or bus that was more than 15 minutes late, and they were on time 95% of the time. Why can't we do this?
As each day passes, I feel more and more 'normal'. Everything was overwhelming when I first arrived-the street lights, the parking lot, the tool booths, the highway (gigantic!), even having a room with a bed. Now it's starting to feel routine, and my memories of the emotions and feelings I had upon return are at least 50% gone, and will surely be 90% gone in a few days. I hope I can hold onto that 10% for as long as possible.
In the meantime, I've decided that I need to leave America for at least a year, maybe longer. Not to travel, but to live. Life in America for the average person is something bizarre. It's too easy, people don't cook and our cars are too big. It's almost a parody of existence. Especially in the suburbs, where your big hardships are sharing a room with a sibling, not being 'popular', and trying to find someone over 21 to buy you alcohol. Welcome to the American Dream. I need to get away from it for awhile, until I get to the point where I either appreciate it or am completely disgusted by it and abandon it forever. Not to mention, I've decided that being monolingual is disgraceful and lazy, so I'm determined to learn another language. Russian is the language for the time being, but that can change depending on where I end up. Anybody want to gevarom some paruski? I think I made a grammar mistake. And do any foreigners reading this know of any jobs that I might possibly be qualified for? I'm looking...
More blogging to come over the next few days. With more pictures of me acting like a moron. That's what I do best.