Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On Being back in the U.S.A.

     Well, dear reader, I have returned from Hungary to the U.S.A. recently, which gives me a chance to relate a few random observations I have made.  Reportedly, when Chuck Berry returned from international trips, he yearned for Baton Rouge, among other cities, as well as for sizzling hamburgers.  (Refer to the hit song "Back in the U.S.A." of 1959).  Well, I must say, I shared the rock-and-roller's yearning for hamburgers.  My first stop in Oshkosh was at a burger joint. 
     Here, in no particular order, are some other observations.
1) After six months overseas, I had little trouble slipping back into American culture.  I thought I would be so used to Hungary, that the U.S.A. would strike me as bizarre.  Not so, it turns out. 
2)  I rarely feel so in touch with "mainstream" America than I do at airports and airport hotels.  Maybe it's the CNN that seems to play everywhere. 
3)  I did find American news a bit jarring.  The newscasters were talking about totally different things.  The relationship of the Orban gov't to the EU did not come up once!  Instead, there is some sort of sequester still at the forefront of politics.  I guess I had not been paying attention.
3a)  American news does not that much about the rest of the world, am I right?
4) Hungarian highway gas stations/stores/cafes are a lot easier to access than American ones.
4a) If there are any restaurants near the highway around Milwaukee, they are not well-advertised.  Put up some road signs, people!
5) Hamburgers are delicious.  As much as I like to patronize stand-alone establishments, the Red Robin's Gourmet Burgers chain is doing something right.
6) We Americans sure drive a lot more than we walk.  But I guess that's not news.
7) I feel quite comfortable in the U.S.A.
8) I like my house. 
9) I miss my Hungarian family and my new Hungarian friends.
10) It feels a bit odd to say to Oshkosh friends or acquaintances: "Yeah, I was out of the country for the last six months!"

More on Oshkosh in upcoming posts....

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