Many decisions, for instance, are made at speeds that permit conscious awareness only after the fact. This contributes to the illusion that consciousness directs most of our thoughts and actions rather than resulting from them.
One day he would have to go home. And one day he would have to make a home to go back to. He wondered whether home was a thing that happened to a place after a while, or if it was something that you found in the end, if you simply walked and willed it long enough.
If you think about all the things that you know and calculate how much of that you figured out yourself versus what was told to you, it’s obvious how important this is, speech and language and being able to communicate through language. It’s what makes us so incredible.
‘Comment vas-tu?’ La plupart des gens la posent sans attendre de repartie, et nous nous moquons de les convaincre de la pertinence d’une réponse aussi hypocrite que leur question.
Germans don’t jaywalk. They wait for the walk signal. It’s remarkable to behold. Americans walk in their bike lanes and get yelled at. Not that I have personal experience with this. Well, ok, I do. So that’s a bike lane. Got it. I’ll try to remember.
Looks a lot like a sidewalk.
Today marks the point at which I have been back in the US for two months, short though it has seemed, and I’m feeling particularly reflective because of it. Reading back over my posts from the last year evokes the emotions that I felt while writing them, be they positive or negative, and I find myself wondering just how long it will be before I get to go back to France. I tell everyone who shows the slightest interest all about my travels and thus I end up using a lot of the same stories and descriptive phrases for the things I’ve seen and done, but this does not take away any of the magic for me.
Being home was strange at first, for reasons entirely anticipated: I felt like a stranger in my own country. The house to which I moved back was entirely new, the BGSU campus I visited the first weekend was partially new, and my fellow Americans were just as self-centric as pompous as when I left them. Without a doubt, it has been nice to be home with the people I left behind after so long apart. That being said, there are plenty of things about home in which I wouldn’t mind seeing some change though I fear it will take a massive shift of power for Americans to become like the “Europeans” that they fear so much.
On a lighter note, I have noticed a few things just over the last week or so that I didn’t even realize I had brought home with me:
- I hold the lever on toilets for way longer than usual, thanks to the dual-button hold-to-flush system many toilets in France have.
- Wearing a collared shirt without first ironing it sounds like a lazy outfit choice.
- No longer do I ice my drinks; it’s just fine from the tap or the refrigerator.
I have photos and videos that need shared, but editing this content always makes me sad that it’s over, so cut me some slack. In the meantime I’m taking suggestions for contemporary French reading if anyone has any options.
- So. Many. Fat people.
- Related: “$1 Any Size Soft Drink or Sweet Tea” billboards. While I do think 2.50€ for a medium Sprite at the McDo in Paris is exorbitant, is this other extreme really necessary?
- The Chicago train announcer refers to passengers as “customers.” Even if I hadn’t just lived in France this would strike me as odd.
- The French couple on the train beside me had no reason to even suspect that I could understand them. I wanted to say something to them but it already feels pretentious and unnecessarily (fake) friendly to just talk to someone in French now that it’s back to not being the norm.
- The “expresso” at Starbucks tastes like I imagine my mouth would if I were to go on a diet of fresh fertilizer and endives. Gritty and bitter and overall reminds me of warm cow feces.
- On the upside, my conversation with the barista led to the discovery of our mutual Ohio roots and a free double expresso, which was like a warm pat on the back after the relative coldness of Parisian shopkeepers.
- Is it weird that I’m excited to buy something simply so I can spend American dollars instead of Euro? I mean, as much as I love losing 1/3 of my money on every purchase…
Almost time to start the long bus haul to Ohio. Ready or not, I’m home for good.
But I’m coming back soon with photos and videos and all kinds of good travel anecdotes. Promise.
The things backpackers do to avoid booking a room at a hostel.
Maybe it’s the total lack of context for these street signs. Anyway, I’ll have a couple photos from Bruges and the Cologne cathedral up soon.
Time to Yelp a sports bar and get my trollin’ on.
Every clock tower in the downtown area is still an hour off the day after the time change.
Let’s hope this Schengen zone thing is as fluid as they say it is.