Our trip home is just around the corner. I'm thinking some about the food, but not as much as a thought I would. Yesterday we watched the World Cup UK-US game at The Hard Rock Café (our first time there) and ate nachos. They were nacho-y. They had actual pickled jalapeños - that was nice. I am not typically a fan of the Hard Rock Café - it has this weird kinda' 1980s feel to me. I think that comes from the fact that back when Austin was more small town-like we used to think it was cool to go to Dallas and go shopping and eat at the Hard Rock…that's really 80s…and it was the 80s. Now Austin has it's own Hard Rock. I've never eaten there. Can't imagine I ever will.
Mostly what I am thinking about is how weird it will be to go home. We are now well over what I like to call the 6th month hump - the time abroad when you decide you're either going to sink or swim in your host country. We're swimming (literally, in crystal clear Caribbean water, which helps) most of the time. We like it here. It's homey. So, to that end, I think it will be weird to go back to a place that's so easy. We have so many conveniences living in the capital, but even the convenient things have a level of negotiating that has to happen all the time. Lately, I have been thinking about certain situations back home, imagining myself there and then I suddenly realize that my imagination is happening in Spanish. I speak Spanish, but thinking about a whole world in pure English seems so…simple.
Eating out here is incredibly expensive. Even a fast food bill is easily $20 for our family of four. That will be different back home. I'm determined to not go overboard on things like chips and queso, really good pizza and Starbuck's. I will go overboard on all the delicious salads and fresh tomatoes from the garden and salsa.
I'm trying, I guess, to find balance before we go. Not just to establish a balance of what I'll eat, but what we'll buy because it's convenient and we think we'll need it and we won't be able to get it here. And, a balance of mind. You can't be the person who goes back to the States and points out, at every corner, "It's so crazy that people stop at the red lights and stay in their lanes," "How weird not to have people wash your windows at stop lights," "There are no children begging here," "This lettuce looks so green." That kind of thing annoys people quickly. Moderation of shock at how different things are is appropriate I guess. Perhaps increased meditation is in order. The countdown begins.