Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th!

James' mom and his uncle who lives in the States are in town, so today we're having a big Chinese dinner as an early celebration of his grandmother's birthday. I looked up the big ex-pat bars online, none have anything special going on tonight. Although, one will be showing some South African soccer match, pttttbbbb.

Two weeks after I first arrived I posted a list of things I missed about America. Now seems like an appropriate time for another. Looking back on that list, I think the things I miss now go deeper. Probably my third or fourth month here was the worst for homesickness. I haven't stopped missing home, but after awhile you just get used to missing it.

Five Things I Miss About American (Month No. 9 Addition)

1. Americans. Be it thoughts on the Phil Spector trial, or what's on HBO, the latest gubernatorial scandal, or college football - there are countless little things that comprise our shared experience, some of them are stupid things I wouldn't think about back home. But living outside my own culture, and not often talking to too many Americans besides James, gives me new appreciate for that.

2. Direct Communication. I got some unexpected bad news at work this week. My bosses' confrontation paralysis prevented them from telling me until the last minute. When I explained they'd really messed me up by not saying something earlier, they offered a bunch of non-sequitor excuses. They aren't stupid people. But admitting they were wrong and saying sorry would've been a loss of face. This is a high power distance culture. It might have been the first time they had an employee call them out. It was a frustrating week, and I can say with certainty I prefer the American method of conflict resolution.

3. My family and friends. A given. That one doesn't get easier.

4. Space. We went to watch The Hangover and my heart ached a little in the scenes where they're driving through the desert between Los Angeles and Vegas. I miss the Oregon Coast. I miss long drives with lots of trees and few people. We've traveled a lot here. But the last time I was in the "country" and away from crowds was November when we went to Jade Mountain. It's a dense island.

5. Homemade baked goods, fresh guacamole, good cheese, barbecue, a decent Caesar salad, and micro brews - especially my favorite beer of all, Wakonda Cream, which is brewed at home in Florence and isn't bottled so you have to go to Oregon to get it. It's worth the trip. That beer is delicious.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Goodness, Ahmen to good cheese and good beer. I´m sad I´ve never had the Wakonda cream though, brewed in my hometown and I´m not aware of it. How about a Ninkasi Believer or any type of hefeweizen? Sharp cheddar, feta, hmmm, even mozarella would be better than what´s here in Peru.