With the realization that in just over ten weeks I will be back! in! America! (after 26 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer and 9 as a Fulbright), a selection of things that most frighten me about returning to my homeland.
- Go on a date. I have not been on one since August 2009.
- Go on a job interview. I have not been on one since October 2008.
- See hipsters.
- Speak to people who won’t be understanding of the fact that my English is messed up for reasons out of my control, or that “opa!” has become my standard exclamation. (I can’t even remember what it replaced. “Oh”? “Ouch”? A shriek?)
- Rent an apartment from any landlord whose vetting process is anything more than me taking a walk around the apartment, then taking the keys. No lease required.
- My suspicion that I will be so excited to see American magazines again that I will end up with subscriptions to People, US Weekly, In Touch, Rolling Stone, and dozens more.
- Related fear: that I will spend as much money on magazines during my layover at JFK as I did when I was flying back to Macedonia last summer. (See: $40.)
- Ordering beer in any situation where I have to say more than “I’ll have a dark beer.” (See: how many Yuenglings I drank last summer because it was less confusing for me to ask for a lager than to parse beer lists that are now all but indecipherable to me.)
- Learn that, apart from Breaking Bad, I missed everything about American culture, 2009 – 2012.
- Own a “phone” with a touch screen. (I don’t really feel comfortable calling something a phone if it does not have T9 and Snake xenzia.)
- That being an American will no longer make me the weirdest/most special person in the room.
- That my host sister will no longer be a four-hour furgon ride away from me.