I have been back in the US since the evening of July 14th... So that's about 2 weeks and 5 days. It's been kind of a free-for-all of seeing people, unpacking, visiting what will be my new home in Lake Charles, eating, driving, contemplating re-packing, walking the dogs... etc etc.
The weirdest thing about being home: all of the people in stores speak English, and I have to understand everything they're saying, which means I have to hear all the mindless things I was able to tune out for a year.
The best thing about being home: (apart from boyfriend, family, and friends) customer service!! I ordered some pants offline, but I somehow ordered the wrong size. I was able to call on a SATURDAY and have the problem fixed IMMEDIATELY. God Bless America.
Anywho, there's plenty to say about all of that, but I think this will best illustrate coming back to America (and I suppose, in particular, the American South).
I have been going back to the YMCA to work off the 8ish lbs I gained during my near month of travel. My lovely friend Lauren invited me to a class she's been going to, Zumba. Zumba is, as the link explains, a latin-infused dance style workout. It's pretty fun, and the instructor was cute and kept the class moving. The music was mostly latin-y dance music with the occasional world dance beat, including the Slumdog Millionaire hit song, Jai Ho. Here is a link to the video to the original song, not the horrible Pusscat Dolls version and video.
So in the midst of this rather world-musicky vibe pops up something just completely out there. To set the scene, the class was composed of a LOT of middle-aged Collierville women. For those of you not from Collierville, this means upper-middle class white women with blonde hair, matching workout gear, and lots of makeup. (yes, I am guilty of a couple of these... I'm just telling, not judging). Although, this was one of the more diverse classes I have attended. There was a pretty significant attendance of African-American women, as well as females under 40, some even under 30. There was one male. We can't be that diverse.
So, there we all are, shaking our little (some not so little) asses away, shedding the pounds, when a song I couldn't quite recognize came on. The country sound didn't quite match the world sound, but it was catchy and easy to move to. I was only able to identify the song at the chorus.... And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like watching 40 or so diverse Collierville citizens imitate wrangling wild mustangs and shake their booties to Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.
Welcome to America!