Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Readjustment Continues

Having been back in the U.S. now for a few days, I've had more time to digest being here and notice what stands out to me.  It's strange how things can be so familiar you don't even bat an eye, and then--you see that little something that makes you double-take.

I think I'm having to get used to looking out my windows and seeing large expanses of green.  It's not just that the urban environment in Krakow didn't provide much green space (and besides, there was the Planty!); it's that when I left the country, all the grass I saw here was brown.  I think it also has to do with the amount of space I can see, though.  It feels like it takes longer to walk places here.  Even though I know that I did much more walking in Krakow than on campus, it just seems like so far between buildings!

Yesterday was the first day I've worn shorts in...a while.  Probably close to a week.  It is warmer here than in Krakow when I left, but I was sticking to capris until yesterday.

I think I've been subconsciously seeking out food that I didn't have in Poland.  Beef sounded good more than once since I've gotten to campus, and the first lunch I had on campus was an Asian-style stir-fry!  Today I had peanut butter (on toast) for the first time in weeks.  It almost felt strange to go back to eating some of the "normal" breakfast foods I was used to having.

Finally, I'm noticing the prices of things more, and I'm comparing them in zlotys.  For example, parking on campus on Monday cost just a little under $5.  Not bad, you say?  In my mind, I was thinking, "Wait.  That's a hot lunch and maybe an ice cream cone to boot if I was in Poland...  Why is parking so darn expensive???"  And yet I pay it like it's just part of routine...because it is.

I feel like where I am is real, is authentic; and yet I also feel like I could wake up one morning and be right back in the apartment on Mikołajska St. and life would continue as it had been.  Last night, I dreamed about bocadillos, those sandwiches with smoked ham or bacon from Spain.  Part of me seemed to be asking, "Where did it all go?"  This feeling may be fading, as I know my GA duties now, and I've started the real "work" of studying, but I'm still going to miss it.


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