I just arrived in Baltimore a few days ago, and I have to say it’s good to be back in America. I think I’m getting better at switching cultures. Maybe. Despite the fact that jet lag has been owning me the past few days, I’ve found myself much less weirded out by stranger small talk than I was last year. I’ve even been remembering to tip.
Having lived in Korea for over four years now, I definitely don’t feel like a normal American. I feel an urge to separate my food trash, bow when I say sorry, and avoid eye contact with strangers. I don’t like not being able to pick my movie theater seats online, and I’m unused to waiters coming over every five seconds to check in with me.
But I feel a camaraderie here. While making eye contact with people, engaging in small talk, having the door held upon for me, I feel at home.