Home for Christmas
Trip Start Feb 02, 2011
51Trip End Ongoing
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Strangely, it felt like not much had changed in the landscape. We left NY in the winter last year, and it felt like the world had been put on pause there. Somehow when you've been gone that long you expect things to feel different, and in a way it was strange that it all felt so familiar.
The changes we noticed were in the young people in our family, all our cousins and siblings having gotten a bit older and wiser in the past year
We really enjoyed seeing friends and family, and the whirlwind of activity that surrounds the holidays. It was great to be back, eat some American foods, catch up on American culture and take it all in.
After being in Osaka, it was also interesting seeing America in a new light. I noticed more of the stereotypes about the US that I hadn't seen before. The major difference I noted was in the service. It's no secret that Japan is famous for their exceptional customer service, but the service in NY had never struck me as bad. It's interesting what a year of bell-ringing from the table, servers bending over backwards and doing it with a smile, can do to you. I suppose it was a bit of reverse culture shock, and I'm sure I'll be able to readjust.
We had a lovely time in NY and soon after headed up to Marion to catch the Real McCoys. The Peter Pan bus service from NYC to Providence proved one counter-example to the service in the US. The bus driver was exceptionally friendly and helpful. In Marion we relaxed, watched football and ate apple pie, among other delicious meals. It was a great end to the journey, and we headed back to Japan feeling rested and ready to take on the next 10 weeks of teaching.
Happy New Year to all, and many well wishes for 2012. :)