Despite the title of this post, we didn't exactly just arrive in America. We left Thailand almost a month ago, and after a brief few hours in Japan headed to Hawaii for a few days. After that we flew to Utah to spend over a week with both my family and Mali's before driving across this beautiful country. In the intervening month I made the following startling observation:
America is big.
Now the obvious logical conclusion is that I'm talking about the geographical breadth of this great country we call the United States. While it is indeed true that it takes several days to traverse America by car, I am not referring to how wide this country is. Perhaps what I should have said was:
Americans are big.
Granted, I just spent two years in Thailand, where the average person tends to be a wee bit shorter and more slim (petite?) than the average American. After going to church with my parents, American women have big hair (that might just be a Utah thing, and Thai men definitely have bigger coifs than American men, in general). Not only that, it seems that everything in America is big. The houses are big, and they have big yards. The cars are big--holy cow are the cars big! Restaurants have big portions, and usually the checks for those restaurants are also fairly hefty.
I knew this would happen though. I knew I would compare the United States with Thailand, and that I would miss Thailand. Strangely enough, I miss driving on the left-hand side of the road (thankfully there have been zero mix-ups for me). I miss outrageously delicious food for ridiculously inexpensive prices. I miss going to the movies almost every week with my wife. I miss being able to speak Thai every day. I miss the wonderful friends we made in Thailand.
That said, I don't miss Bangkok traffic and crazy Thai drivers--more particularly I do not miss Thai motorcyclists. I do rather enjoy the sense of order that comes with driving in America. I don't miss the daily power outages (even if I wasn't always home when they happened) or the obscene amounts of insecticide used in the seemingly futile attempt to curb the mosquito population.
Last observation and another topic for another day--apparently while I was in Thailand, about half of America's adults got visible tattoos.