Monday, May 25, 2009

The Grass is Green all around

I left America because I felt trapped.
I could drive for hours. Hours and hours, and still feel like I was in the same place.
I was tired of all the plastic and the polish. The manipulative storefronts and the gimmicks inside them.
Now I'm someplace new; actually quite old. Practically crumbling in pockets.
And it's good for me.
The longer I'm away, the more I can appreciate about home.

The ocean, which I'd always taken for granted, is very far away now.
When I returned last fall, I was working at an outdoor mall, a few blocks from the sand.
I was constantly stopping to notice, and breath that fresh salty air.
Something that never phased me, until I'd lived without it for a while.

And those stores with their extensive hours of operation. Yes, they're profit-driven and evil. But you don't realize how much easier they make your life until you live in a place where shit shuts down. All the time. On Sundays, at lunchtime, by 7pm. Where do people find the time here? This is one of those things that I am torn about.
When I first arrived in Germany, I was charmed by the non-consumerist style culture, that could afford to shut down the buying and the selling once a week, and take some time to relax. Enjoy nature or so .
But this means stifling crowds on Saturday, and having to plan ahead. Not entirely my scene.
And think about all the jobs going out to the night and weekend crews. I didn't mind working Sundays.

I guess all I am trying to say, is that I feel like I am finally learning to love two places at once. Europe feels like home. I'm in love with the versatility, the public transit, and condensed culture.
But I can see now, California, that you too have your charms. Your skies stay blue, and your stores stay open. Your waiters are friendly, and don't charge me 2.5o for a glass of water.
You've got your own thing going. And I can appreciate that.

I'm happy now.


Lydia 6:49 AM  

I feel exactly the same way. We left Seattle because we felt the work/life balance there was all messed up. I love the way that people here work 40 hours, and have the rest of their life free to spend as they wish.

But then on Sunday afternoon, I really wish that I could buy a new jacket and perhaps some groceries too.