Arriving in the States, this time to actually stay- was a totally different experience. There would be no more getting on a jet plane in three weeks- or in a couple months- this was it. Boxes needed to be unpacked and things organized. The last time I had been in the States to live was ten years earlier, and that was only for year. I was born in Asia- raised in Asia- only came to the States for my university- and then I was back out in Asia and then later Africa. Now I was here to stay.
Just when I thought I had gotten the 'swing of things'- something would side swipe me and I went reeling around trying to get my balance. Something as simple as ordering food at a restaurant proved to be a challenge.
"May I have some soup, please?"
"Do you want bread with your soup?"
"wheat, rye, white, oat, cracked corn, malted meal...." (this all rattled off at super speed which takes superman's hearing to decipher.) So I would sit there thinking "Do I dare ask her to repeat it again- do I even WANT to dare???"....usually, NO...so the easiest thing was
"Wheat please" the first choice and most easily understood.
This problem went for everything on the menu. There was choice after choice--this country is full of choices!! Oh for Ghana where you walk in and look at a menu and say, "I want this dish"
"sorry no more"
ooookay...."I want the fish dish"
"sorry all finished!"
hmmmm...."alright, how about this vegetarian platter?"
"oh madam, that is also finished."
"What DO you have??"
"fried rice and chicken"
No choices- easy decision- takes around 40 minutes to be brought to the table- thus giving you ample time to talk to friends....redo your day planner....contemplate your navel...or whatever you want to do.....
And how about the grocery stores here in the USA????
You go to pick up a can of green beans and you have cans and cans to choose from....company after company...price after price....Okay forget the green beans, you decide to settle for corn but you are faced with the same dilemma. A multitude of choices.
I remember the first day I arrived back and walked into an Albertsons- I literally walked through the aisles with tears in my eyes- not tears of joy, mind you, but tears of exhaustion--- wondering how in the world I was going to choose when I was used to either retrieving the one and only can of something I needed or being told "All sold out...new stock in two weeks"
Mindboggling choices....Don't even get me started on the coffee shops.