On Monday, I arrived back in Kosovo after a week-long visit to the United States.
I didn’t experience any culture shock at all. After a day of being back home, Kosovo felt like a distant memory. Having said that, I missed Kosovo by the end of the week. Just a little, but it was enough to bring me back here. 🙂
I talked to a volunteer friend who had visited the States a few weeks before my trip. She told me the food made her sick. A small, mean part of my brain thought: “She’s weak. That won’t happen to me.”
Pride goeth before a fall.
The food in the U.S. did make me sick. (Fun fact: I puked down the drain while showering.) I stopped going to restaurants and only ate at home, which helped. If I had to give advice to any returning Peace Corps volunteers, it would be: Don’t go hog-wild eating all of your favorite foods. Ease into it.
I expected my reunion with my cat to be joyous on both our parts. I was joyous, while he was indifferent. I don’t know why I expected more. He IS a cat, after all. 🙂
Things I did in the U.S.: Went to the movies (Wonder Woman), went to yoga class 4x, ate a bunch of food, attended a family barbecue, painted ceramics, attended an art fair, and turned another year older.
I also got a bob hircut. I’ve had bobs before, and they aren’t my favorite haircut for myself. However, I was motivated by practical reasons and not aesthetics.
Anyway, it was a great trip and I am so grateful I was able to see my family. It helps to know that I’ll see my parents again in 6 months (when they visit Europe for the first time!). But, it is strange to think it’ll be another year before I see the rest of my family and friends. When I was home, I kept telling myself: “The next time I’m here, I’LL BE FREE.”
I haven’t posted about my media consumption for a few weeks, so here’s everything:
- I watched the season finale of Handmaid’s Tale. It continues to scare the crap out of me.
- I binged Orange is the New Black over 3 days. I am always impressed by the rich, complex, and varied female characters on that show.
- As mentioned, I saw Wonder Woman while I was home. My mom and aunt liked it, but I thought it was only okay. It was a bit heavy-handed with the “love conquers all” messaging.
- I read All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is told from a husband’s perspective, as he obsesses over his wife.
- I read Beautiful Bodies. It was well-written, but irritated me to no end. Why are all books about 30-somethings (particularly women) all about the characters’ midlife crises? Is no one happy in their 30s? (For the record, I am. I’ve enjoyed my 30s far more than I ever enjoyed my 20s.)
- I re-read White Oleander, which is probably my favorite novel of all time. It follows the story of a teenage girl as she moves through a series of foster homes in Los Angeles, after her poetess mother murders her ex-boyfriend.
- When I was in the States, I was finally able to buy a hard copy of Feast of Sorrow, which was written by Crystal King. Crystal and I became acquainted when I lived in Boston. I was excited to have a chance to read her first novel, which was published this spring. It is a historical fiction novel set in ancient Rome. I started reading it on my long journey back to Kosovo. It is an entertaining, captivating novel, and I’m not just saying that because I know the author. I highly recommend it!