1) Ice makers! When I returned from China my family had a new refrigerator, one that spit out ice on command! I know that this is nothing new, but growing up we never had one so this was a life revolutionizing thing. In China, if I wanted to enjoy an ice cold beverage I would have to distill my water, put it into the world’s tiniest ice cube trays, and wait over night to experience that blissful iced feeling.
2) Water from the tap. Here in America I’ve been able to chug water like its going out of style. I love water, I really do. I know its a weird thing to love but I find water absolutely delightful. If I were to drink the brownish water that I had in China I most likely would have grown a third arm, or at the very least an inconvenient set of tentacles or other likewise gross mutation.
3) Cheese. No joke, the first time I went grocery shopping upon my return to America and I ventured down the cheese aisle I cried. It was such a beautiful sight, I lost all self conscious tendencies and the tears (silent manly tears) came forth. That wonderful experience changed me.
4) Bountiful tequila and wine. I enjoy tequila and wine like an alcoholic fat kid likes Rum cake. Enough said.
5) And last but not least: Actually knowing whats going on. My time in China was one giant awk-fest. About 70% of the time I had no clue what was going on and it lead to some awesome adventures and some crazy stories (ask me about the time I was tricked into attending a Communist swearing in ceremony or the rubber chicken incident). Being here in America I’m somewhat more socially capable, although a much weirder and more awesome person than before my Peace Corps service.
But in all seriousness, I’m going to miss my family and friends, being able to read and understand things, and not being treated special or like an honored guest. Going back to Peace Corps, especially Peace Corps Thailand is a crazy awesome thing but don’t think for a second that I take for granted the love and awesomeness I get in America.
Peace out homies!