I've been back in the US for over a month now. With only one week remaining before I return to Santiago, I thought it was time for me to finally write about my experience returning to the US after being abroad for 15 months.
People have asked me how it's been getting reacquainted with life in the US. Have I experienced any culture shock? Not so much.
Life in Santiago is so gringo-friendly that adjusting to life back in the US is quite easy. Things are so similar except for some notable exceptions:
1. English. Duh. This makes everything so much easier.
2. No mullets.
3. No rat tails.
4. Way fewer dogs in the street.
I got so used to doing certain things in Chile that I almost made some slip ups here.
When I first got back I had to resist the urge to greet people with a kiss on the cheek, as is the norm in Chile.
I also had to remember not to tip the bagger at the grocery store. In the beginning, every time I got into line I would rummage in my purse to find some coins for a tip, only to remember that's not exactly customary here.
And of course, I had to remember not to speak in Spanish, at least to those who wouldn't understand.
It's been wonderful being home but I'm looking forward to returning to life in Santiago. I'm eager to get the new school year started and get back into a normal routine.
The one thing I'm not looking forward to? The stifling Santiago summer heat. And the mullets.