I'm back in Korea! Man. Those three weeks flew by. I've never had a busier three weeks. On the plane, I was sitting there hating every minute of those 15 hours (long flight!), when I decided I should be thankful to be sitting still and not rushing off to a job interview or an appointment for the new house.
I also had time to ponder about life in the America. Every time I come back home, I'm hit with the contrasts of life in Asia and the States. I did a blog post about it here too.
Other than the fact that Americans live a pretty good life (better than anywhere else I've visited), these are my latest impressions.
1. Very multicultural- I guess this comes from being in Asia, where every country is from a homogeneous race. I'm always floored in the States when I go to the malls or schools and see so many different races, hair colors, skin colors. It takes me a while to get my bearings.
2. Americans are loud but a happy group of people- I suppose this comes from the fact that we haven't had our entire nation leveled yet like poor Korea where after the Japanese invasion, there wasn't a building two stories high and nearly every tree had been cut down. Overall, Americans really have been sheltered from the pain of war and oppression unlike nearly every other country in the world. Think about it for a moment. It's true.
3. I love the idea that we as Americans have the right to speak what we believe in. I really hope freedom of speech and religion continues. I was surprised going back that some people felt that they couldn't say "Merry Christmas". It did worry me that people don't have the freedom to say and do what they once did for fear of offending someone. I lived in Indonesia for 2 years and not once did an Indonesian feel that they couldn't say "Happy Ramadan" to me.
4. Americans sure put on a good party- The Christmas decorations and food and music are truly amazing. The country was so festive and alive. A great place to celebrate the holidays.
I hope this post got you thinking. I suppose I just touched the 'tip of the iceberg' here. And as much as I love the US, I loved living overseas, too. I've learned so much from the places I've visited with much more to learn still. I just finished the book Carpe Diem and while on the plane I watched the movie Shanghai Kiss. They sum up everything I've said here. Check them out!
Picture by Woo Bing Siew