Back to the Real WorldI don't think I experienced culture shock arriving in Guatemala like I did when I got back to Portland. It was rainy and I was not ready to come back to the real world. I really love Portland, but mentally I am still in Guatemala. It was really great to see everyone here but I expected some things that never happened: I expected to miss luxuries like my pickup, my cell phone, pizza, the english language. It seems the only luxury I missed was sushi and I can do without that, really.
I had a hard time at the Atlanta airport listening to all the english speakers. I kept trying to translate phrases into spanish. I still am, though the urge has lessened which makes me sad because I know I have already begun to lose some of the spanish I worked on for the entire month. I don't want to speak english, I want to keep learning and being immersed in spanish. I hate that I kind of have no control over that. All the inside jokes that my fellow spanish students and I shared aren't as funny to anyone here... I try to explain them, but all I get is a small chuckle. I miss Norberto, Yes-si, Sterling, Bea, Janneke, Sergej, Lisa, Sanne and Carolina so much.
The only thing I am unhappy with is my weight gain. I gained 11 pounds! My baggiest pants before I left are now pretty snug. I am proud that I didn't hold back at all while in Guatemala though. I ate dessert whenever I wanted to, I usually cleaned my plate of delicious "tipico" food and I drank horchata and cuba libras like they were going out of style. It is time again to log on to weightwatchers.com and begin my diet again. The hardest part will be retraining myself to refuse all the portion sizes and fatty foods which I enjoyed so much while gone.
I won't miss being gawked and whistled at by the local men while walking down the street. I won't miss the noisy, roaring buses blowing dust and black exhaust in my face. I won't miss the local men grabbing me and trying to get me to salsa dance against my will. I will not miss Monoloco. And surpisingly, I won't miss guacamole. But I will miss Guatemala as a whole.
I still hesitate about where to put my toilet paper.