I went back to America, more specifically Florida, for 2 weeks. And the trip was……. interesting. I’ve avoided writing about it mostly because I didn’t know how to articulate my own feelings on it. But I’m willing to give it a try.
I left Nürnberg while it was still cold and gloomy on a Saturday morning. I could not have been more excited. I was going back into the warmth, the beaches, seeing my family and my friends, eating American foods, shopping, enjoying American life and the things I missed. I was going to be happy because I was going back to a place I already knew and was comfortable in, and I could finally feel confident in my environment. What I didn’t account for was how much I’ve changed living and working here.
We arrived at midnight and had to find a place to stay stat! So we went on an hour search through the streets of Tampa looking for a place, eventually finding one and getting a big discount, which happened because the hotel desk worker and I were singing along to some emotional R&B music. That guy gets me, and that is something that would never happen in Germany. I’m constantly embarrassed by my craziness here in Germany. It was lovely, but we were exhausted! The next day we met up with my family, the G-Man’s first introduction into my family. It was fun to be a part of. We made our way slowly down to the Keys, enjoying and deploring moments of that. Our car broke down, and it took 6 hours for us to get a new (and definitely less cool) car, we argued over directions (which I’m not known for giving correctly), we swam in this amazing pool overlooking this crystal clear beach, we had amazing dinners and breakfasts (shout out to Harriette’s Restaurant and The Fish House in Key Largo, and Herbie’s in Marathon), and I realized I don’t like Miami (and if you want bad and rude service, go stay at Indian Creek Hotel in Miami). The people of Miami look like exactly like these beautiful and rich people portrayed on CSI Miami, although there didn’t seem to be any homicides while we were there…. that I know of.
It was on this trip that I became aware of the Trayvon Martin tragedy that’s still in the news now. Insane. I began to notice the severe difference of the poor and rich while in Florida, and the way everyone ate fast food, which was literally everywhere. I became annoyed with things; people were so loud in movie theaters and in stores, tv’s were on everywhere we went, people were judgmental- one woman remarked quietly to her husband that the G-Man and I being together was “unnatural”, and the children, don’t even get me started on that. I’m sad to admit that I looked at my country with a bit of disgust sometimes, and although I do love my country, and I’m proud to come from Boston, I’m not sure it is the place for me at this time in my life. I found myself looking forward to going back to Germany more than once, and I was stressed out being back. I noticed that I’m not the same with my friends, and that’s good in some ways, but in other ways it made me question that friendship and the compatibility there.
The thing is, I did love all of the beaches and the quiet those brought with me. I enjoyed seeing my friends and family, and the fair amount of eating I did which I will definitely have to work off. But I’m really glad to be back home, and knowing our next trip will be in Europe, so as to avoid more stress and 18 hour flights! I feel more at home here than I do most other places now, and I’m glad I went back to the States to figure that out. Thanks for reading (and sorry for so much passive voice writing!).