On ‘Reverse Culture Shock’…

As promised, I owe you all one more post from the good ol’ US of A. Although I nearly missed my flight from Amsterdam-to-Portland (because of a lack of communication between the KLM and Delta systems), and although my luggage didn’t actually arrive in Portland until 24 hours after I arrived in Portland (thank goodness for leaving so many clothes at home)… I did safely land at home on May 30th.

Since that flight just under 2 weeks ago, I have had the chance to get over my jet lag (which had me going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 6am), catch up with a lot of friends and family, re-pack everything and move up to Tacoma for the summer, and start re-adjusting to the American Life.

Although it IS good to be back in a place where my loved ones are, and where my voice doesn’t ID me as a ‘foreigner’, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss Scotland. I miss it SO much. I miss the people who become my friends there, and I miss the ability to walk everywhere. I miss the relatively inexpensive groceries (I practically walked out of Safeway in protest when I had to pay $4 for a loaf of bread, or nearly $5 for a small jar of Nutella). I miss the accents! And I miss the independence and confidence that comes with supporting yourself in a ‘foreign’ country that, over the course of 5 months, became home. I wouldn’t go so far as to call my return to the States ‘culture shock’ since, really, I was prepared for the vast expanses of pavement, the huge houses, and the ridiculously-oversized grocery stores (although Costco was a little too much stimuli for the first week). I have, after all, lived here for over 20 years of my life. Instead, it’s more of a gradual process of understanding that my semester in Edinburgh changed my outlook on the world… and that my new outlook is not necessarily shared by everyone back here in the States. As long as I understand that, though, and adjust to the details of a life lived in Tacoma, things should be just fine! 🙂

I’ve now finished my first week of research with the Chemistry Department. The lasers I will be working with are not yet calibrated, so I’ve been doing mostly literature searching/background information learning, but it’s all really interesting, and I’m really excited for the opportunity to work with the lasers when they are up and running! I’m also excited to explore parts of Tacoma/Washington that I haven’t seen yet, and to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen in at least 6 months. Needless to say, it should be a good summer… and an amazing Senior year!

Signing off for the last time,

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