A Brief Visit to the U.S.A.

For those of you who haven’t heard, I made a quick 7 day trip to Michigan in September.  It was kind of a big deal since I had not been back to the States in the over 4 years that I have been living in Germany.  I had not seen my oldest daughter, Sierra in 2 years.

The trip ended up feeling like it was both too short and too long all at the same time.  Let me explain.  It was not nearly enough time with my daughter, or my other loved ones and friends.  Although I really did manage to visit with many important people in my life, there were plenty of those that I was unable to connect with.  Busy schedules, and distance were mostly to blame for the missed visits, and that can’t really be helped.  We were so busy meeting with people that I didn’t get as much one on one time as I would have liked with Sierra.

It felt like too long of a visit because I missed my husband terribly. I also missed Jack, Newt and Binxy cat.  This was the first time that we had been apart since we married!  7 days was far too long apart!

So, what was it like you ask?  In general, it all felt very weird. I didn’t realize that four years would make such a difference. It all seemed super loud to my ears.  I think this comes down to my being able to understand everything that is being said, that makes it very difficult to tune everything out. And of course, everyone knows that Americans tend to be rather loud. In Germany, I am often blissfully unaware of the back ground noise, since it is all in German and I just block it out. Another thing, It was odd seeing all the plastic bags being used at stores. That is not done here in Germany, everyone carries reusable bags. It was also strange to throw all the trash into a single bin without separating it into various recycling bins.  Whenever we went out to eat (which was everyday!) it was odd to see giant glasses of water brought to the table, and the water smelled and tasted like a swimming pool. Here in Germany, and many other places in Europe, you pay for water, and it is often carbonated. The large sizes for drinks also seemed surprising.  I realize I grew up in the States, and at one time these things were all normal to me.  Now they strike me as odd, or different. Oh and lets not forget the weird American bathroom stalls.  Seriously, can we not just close the creepy gaps?  Why are they built so people can make eye contact with me while I am trying to pee, it’s weird, it needs to be fixed.  For those that are unaware of what I am talking about, in Germany, toilet stalls have doors without gaps.  They are much more private, so you don’t have strangers watching you while using the toilet!

The thing that really felt different, and was actually very upsetting was the constant tension I felt when out in public.  People just seemed so rude, and ready to argue or fight.  We ate out twice each day, and at all but two restaurants there was a “Karen” or a male equivalent of said Karen complaining about something, usually the wait time.  If not complaining about the wait time, they were making snide comments about people wearing masks.   All of these complainers were speaking loud enough for everyone around them to hear them.  People were also jackasses in the airport, same loud, complaining, generally rude, aggressive behaviour.  Now for those of you that are unaware, I was visiting Michigan.  This is supposedly a place full of friendly people with Midwestern manners.  It seems that is a thing of the past, and that makes me quite sad.

On a positive note I did manage to eat Mexican food 3 times, had a great Midwestern breakfast, I had some Detroit style pizza, I scarfed a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, I also managed to have both Scooperman ice cream and some Blue Moon ice cream. We also had some homemade eggplant parmigiana made by my Aunt Doris, it was delicious. Other than friends and family, the food from Michigan is what I do miss here in Germany.

blue moon icecream

All, in all it was a good trip.  I am glad for the time that I got to spend with everyone and for all of the great meals we had too.

But, I am very happy to be home, in Germany.

How about you?  Have you lived far away from “home” and gone back for a visit?  How did it feel to you, still like home, or no longer the same?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

23 thoughts on “A Brief Visit to the U.S.A.

  1. I’m sorry that it felt so ugly and loud much of the time. Reading that felt like one giant, panic attack, yuck! My restaurant experiences haven’t felt like that at all, I wonder if “I’m blocking it out” much like you have learned to do? It’s so odd, because everyone talks about the south, and how everyone is SO friendly. I hadn’t ever been to North Carolina before 2013, and it was 100% true! But it’s only true if you are in my color Skin 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was surprised over the trash not being sorted and plastic bags. Canada here we have been sorting out trash for years and get fined when they see recyclables in garbage. Also some stores have stopped using plastic bags bring your own or too bad. Others they charge for plastic bags. I would have to say not recycling at this point ticks me off. .So glad you got home to see family and daughter the main thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh gosh, toilets with gaps in the door? You mean people can see your face while you’re going to the toilet? Oh no…..
    Such a shame about the rudeness. I think if people behaved like that in a restaurant here in Ireland, they’d be asked to leave! (Snide comments etc)
    Good to visit your family though!
    I’ve never lived anywhere else except Ireland. I’ve never been to the USA.
    Germany is our yearly holiday destination. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember those toilets with gaps in the door. It was very unsettling to have to use them! I visited the US about 8 years ago; it was loud, but most of the people I encountered were very polite. Perhaps COVID has people more on edge?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello I enjoyed your post. I am a military brat and my dad got stationed in Japan and we spent 8 years there and we would go back to visit home every 2 years and each time was a culture shock as Japan is so different than the states

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes we do miss our family and friends but Canada is home now, and as for the noise I have not been there for quite some time, so it will be interesting to hear and find out if its different to what I am used to for the past 25 years in Canada. As for garbage, yes as mentioned by Amelia, its very strange as we here in Canada do sort everything meticulously and make sure that you do not through something in the wrong bin or bag. It’s something I do not even think about anymore, it’s what we do so we do it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad you made it to see family and friends but am sorry for the experience you had. We live in the country so are able to avoid a lot of the turmoil and tension but are still aware of it. It is sad that a country that was so untied on 9/11/2001 is so divided just 20 years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Cherie this was a great read. I’m sure the gaps in the toilet doors would traumatise some of the more reserved Brits here lol. As for the recycling, England isn’t as green and up to speed as Germany but we are getting there. The odd thing is that each local council authority tends to have its own rules when it comes to recycling, sometimes only subtle but for those that move around the country regularly it must take some getting used to each time. Glad you got to see family and friends 🙂
    Neil M

    Liked by 1 person

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