From the moment we stepped off the plane into America we were basically trying to soak up as much of "home" as we could. We took deep breaths and concluded that compared to Asia, America smells like fried foods, smog and rubber. Trust me, it's a good smell. It's home. :) I felt at ease immediately.
We looked around in amazement at the vast open spaces of well, everything. There weren't people lined up shoulder to shoulder anywhere and we were in one of the nation's busiest airports. It was so nice to be able to spread out without bumping some Asian person in the head. I could've skipped all the way down the terminal and not bumped into a single person. But I didn't...because my husband probably would have left my insane self there in Chicago.
There were two remarkable things that happened in the O'Hare airport that made me stop and realize just how much I'd missed some things about my homeland. To you folks, these will seem really silly and you'll probably say "who cares?", but to me it was an eye opener.
Aaron and I stood waiting to collect our baggage from the long flight from Hong Kong to Chicago and several people stood around us chatting.
Megan: Aaron, do you realize what's happening right now?
Aaron: No, what?
Megan: We're overhearing conversations and for once, we actually understand what the people are saying!
Aaron: You're right!
It's something we rarely, if ever, experience in Singapore. Most of the citizens in Singapore speak English as a second language and therefore speak mostly in their native tongue. I hate it because I always think they're talking about us. Call me paranoid, but I swear they are. If I knew another language I would totally talk about other people right in front of them just because I could. Tell me it wouldn't be entertaining. You'd totally do it too. Don't lie.
Aaron and I stopped by this sports bar and grill to grap a bite to eat on our layover. We both ordered a drink and some onion rings (because that was the most American thing on the menu). I was insanely thirsty after that long flight and was sucking down my Diet Coke pretty fast. As I got down to the last inch of liquid I began taking small sips in order to make it last longer. I was so thirsty that it was really hard to ration it out. Then I remembered that in America you get all the free refills you want. Heck yes! I could've jumped up and down I was so excited. I could sit at that restaurant all flippin' day and drink my weight in Diet Coke and all I'd pay was three bucks (or something like that.) After that, I was chugging Diet Coke like there was no tomorrow.
So see, I told you that they were really silly things and those were just the things we experienced in the airport before we even got to Kansas. Don't even get me started on my early morning trip to a deserted Wal-mart or driving a car again. I didn't realize just how spoiled we Americans actually are. The things we take for granted are luxuries in other parts of the world. I think we should all take a moment sometimes to appreciate the things that we get to experience as Americans. Most of us have cars, backyards, very few lines to wait in, huge ovens, Super Targets, Drive-thrus and customer service in general. Imagine if you lived in a country, like Singapore, with your husband and children. Could you do all of that without a car, a yard, a one-stop shop? Oh and P.S. grocery stores in Singapore don't open till 11am and close at 9pm. You have a very small window to get your shopping done in. I barely do it some days and I just live with one big kid. (Love ya babe.) However, when it's all said and done, I like being a spoiled American. I'm counting down the days till we move back permanently. I guess my own lesson just passed me over. :)