Moving back to America after eight years in China has meant making adjustments. Strange, small adjustments.
Here are a few that spring to mind:
(1) Relearning how to start a lawn mower
(2) Remembering that I have to leave my cup of drinking water sitting out for at least half an hour to warm up (Americans drink such stinkin' cold water! It can't be good for your health. *grin*)
(3) Remembering that I can actually swallow sink water after I brush my teeth. Amazing.
(4) Relearning how to parallel park (When I took my driving test as a 20-year-old college student, I aced the parallel parking section. But after years of disuse I find myself avoiding situations where I may need to parallel park, which is really ridiculous and could be called "living in fear.")
(5) Learning how to operate an American gas self-lighting stove. (Scary. It just, like, comes on. All by itself. But, of course, not as scary as lighting a Chinese gas oven. Va-VOOM!)
(6) Remembering that people in line at the supermarket can more often than not understand what you're saying about them if you decide to comment on their appearances out loud
(7) Remembering that it's okay to leave your shoes on when you walk into a house
(8) Remembering that two dollars is about thirteen kuai, which is actually quite a lot of money ... in China
(9) (This is a small town thing.) Remembering that if you pass someone on the sidewalk you say hi to them, whether you know them or not
(10) Realizing what it's like to sit on the grass with your back against a tree trunk, letting the wind rock your baby in a swing, letting your eyes rest on the blond hills and cobalt sky. No jack hammers, no dust. Just. Peace.