February 28, 2014


When you return to the U.S. after two years of living overseas, you expect that things will be different and you'll have to make some adjustments.  But for everything you expect and plan for, there is a lot more that just comes as a surprise.

We expected it to be cold in Washington, DC when we arrived in January - especially after two years in Brazil.  We had prepared - we brought our hats, scarves, gloves, warm coats.  What we didn't expect, was how dry it was.  Recife is on the beach and close to the equator - high levels of humidity.  I had gotten used to somewhat curly hair, and skin that never felt dry.  Then we landed in DC and not only was it cold - it was super dry - flat hair, dry skin, and we kept waking up in the middle of the night because it was so dry.  Even in foggy California, it still feels dry to us.

Chocolate choices at the Berkeley Bowl
There's also that heady rush when you visit a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods or Target for the first time.  Aisles and aisles of products that you haven't seen in a long time.  It's hard to avoid the urge to stock up on everything.

And then there's the stuff you just haven't seen in a while.  My son thought a bowl of grated Tillamook cheddar cheese was grated carrots - because he hadn't seen cheddar in so long.  And he also said he had forgotten what lemons looked like - he was used to the limes in Brazil.

The other funny thing is that our kids now pronounce new words with a Brazilian Portuguese accent: Serramonte as "Se-ha-mon-te" because Brazilian double r's sound like h's.  And speak English with a Brazilian accent:  confused as a three syllable word as opposed to a two syllable word.

It's really interesting noticing all the changes and differences - it's what makes travel so rewarding.

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