america.

we are here! getting over colds and still jet-lagging, but doing okay. enjoying being at grandma’s house. already, there are a million things i’ve forgotten about america (particularly the midwest and nebraska) and am noticing daily.  our first time back, the differences were quite shocking. but the more we go back-and-forth, the less emotional i am about the things i see.  this time, i feel more like “oh yeah, i forgot that about being here.” just a few of these for your musing:

  • the microwaves are huge and bigger than my convection oven in japan, in which i cook our christmas turkey. look at your microwave and wonder, “could i fit a turkey in there?”
  • shirtless runners are everywhere.
  • all the iced lattes i’ve gotten taste SO different than the ones i love in Japan.  the Mill still makes a yummy one, but the others i’ve tried so far, the espresso has a sort of watered-down coffee taste or something.  or maybe its the milk. i can’t figure it out, but i’m not pleased, since i have quite a latte habit.
  • we drive everywhere. and there are LOTS of trucks. and our cars are HUGE.
  • the air is dry, even though its summer, and my lips and skin have needed extra moisture.  so different than living right next to the ocean (though definitely not a “beachy” place), where if you leave the crackers open on the counter for a half-hour, they will be mushy the next time you try to eat one.
  • although the use of english is quite nice, i find it quite frustrating, actually, to understand EVERYTHING. its like i can’t turn it off. in japan, i can decide when i want to pay attention and understand, and when i want to tune it out.  the main thing i don’t like about understanding everything around me is fighting the feeling all day that “people are stupid.” (just keepin’ it real.) they’re stupid in japan, too, but i’m not eloquent enough in japanese to really know. in fact, i’m sure i sound like the stupid one.
  • there’s so much green grass!! and you have to mow it. (ick.)
  • i can’t BELIEVE how many opportunities for overstimulation await my kids each day. as a highly sensitive person with a highly sensitive child, i feel like america was made for kid meltdowns. it takes forever to get across town, then to haul everyone inside somewhere, then wherever we go, its large, so it takes extra time to get around inside, buy/find what we need, then get back out to the car. having to take a car everywhere, too, doesn’t allow for kiddos to get energy out or interact with nature on the way to somewhere.  not to mention the advertising! the noise! the stuff, stuff, stuff! we’ve been kickin’ it at home, mainly, to avoid a lot of this. i did go into walmart with bryan and harper, and as we were leaving, i told bryan that it was my goal to avoid taking my boys in there. they would run around like crazy, want everything in sight, fight and have meltdowns when i said no, and then i’d be fuming the whole way to the car and home. YUCK. i think perhaps i was made for small-town life.
  • i LOVE having grandparents around. LOVE. IT.
  • i LOVE being able to have deep conversations with good friends over things that matter to me! (that sounds so self-centered.)
  • the library selection is AMAZING.
  • my little social jonesy is LOVING being able to communicate with everyone. after our last flight, during which he had a long, one-sided conversation with the nice lady sitting next to us, he turned to her and said, “it was a nice flight! thanks for talking to me. do you want to come to our house? we live up a big hill. you should come over!”
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5 thoughts on “america.

  1. oh dear. i love your family so stinking much. love hearing Jonesie having a fully-English dialogue. i bet it made that lady’s day. and you enjoy all the syrup-y sweetness of the lattes and deep conversation, Jamie. your heart needs to be indulged in deep dialogue and Jesus. miss you, my friend!

  2. I agree with Megan. Love your family. That last comment about Jones melted my heart. ❤
    I remember the first time I sat in a Starbucks in America after being in Japan. I. Could. Not. Concentrate. because I was unable to stop myself from eavesdropping on two ladies next to me talking about MENOPAUSE! Seriously! I was super grossed out and not interested but I was so OVERWHELMED with the english. The whole place was abuzz…
    Good luck. I hope you find a quiet place for you and your kiddos soon.
    And hey, I don't go to walmart and I'm used to the craziness of America! 😛

  3. On behalf of all menopausal women who may have talked about it publicly in Starbucks, I apologize.;)
    I’m with you on the shirtless runners, Jamie. Please. Put on your shirt. Even you with the six pack abs. Maybe especially you. (Also, especially the guy with the man-boobs.)
    Looking forward to seeing you! Hope we can squeeze in a little time, sometime in the next few months…..:)

  4. Great post, Jamie! Hope your time in the States is super encouraging and refreshing! When you get back to Japan you’ll think lattes have no flavor and the stores are way too small. Oh, and you’ll wonder where all the shirtless runners went! 😀 That’s the weird nature of crossing cultures, isn’t it?

  5. Hi Jamie — glad you’re in the USA for a while. Your comment on English made me chuckle (though I know it must be frustrating, especially with 3 small kids)… coming back from Mexico I also noticed that I suddenly understood all the English billboard advertising, the radio commercials, the ads in the grocery store, and definitely was able to eavesdrop much better, unfortunately. One time after church I remember going into the back closet and sitting for a long time in the dark because high school kids were playing an energetic game of pick-up basketball, speaking English, and all wearing gym clothes and I hadn’t seen anything like that for a long time, and it was suddenly too much. 🙂 May God grant you peace and rest and joy while you’re here.

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