As most of you noticed, I haven't been posting much lately...well, by much I mean, not at all. There was a reason, kind of. I headed home on the 16th of September, and didn't return until last night. I didn't want to jinx the trip by posting about it. Just suffice it to say that I had a great time visiting with everyone, and made it back safely. I did have some funny experiences, but mostly just great visits with family and friends. Even met some new ones.
Here are my top observations about life in the 1st world that I found strange upon returning to it:
1. Driving faster than 35 mph. That is about as fast as we are allowed to go, so driving faster than that just felt weird. It wasn't hard to get back into the groove, but it still feels funny driving that fast, especially since I can't figure out why we are all in such a hurry to save 3-4 minutes on our commute.
2. Riding in a car going faster than 35 mph. This wasn't just weird, it was down-right terrifying! They don't make Awe-Shit handles strong enough for me to have been home longer than a couple of weeks. There is nothing like trying to crack a smile at someone else's driving while your knuckles are turning white from holding onto the awe-shit handles so tight you start to lose feeling in your arm.
3. People are still not willing to spend money. Its hot in the desert. REAL HOT. I am making decent money, and my spending power is through the roof right now over here. So when I see a problem that I can throw 50 bucks at to make go away - I throw 75 at it to make sure it never comes back (and stimulate the local economy as well). Not in the states. You guys are still willing to put in man hour upon man hours of work just to save a buck or two. I know that we are in a recession, by it seems like you have forgotten how to spend money - AT ALL. Spending is good for the economy - JUST DO IT!
4. Broadcast and Copyright laws. I get a lot of Satellite channels. Lots. I can get just about any movie on DVD for 2 bucks, even BEFORE it comes out at theaters in the states, sometimes. I can see just about all sporting events for free, and can get just about any software title for $5. That could be why I have so much extra bank laying around to throw at logistical problems...I'll have to investigate that theory. It is just funny to me to pay 15 bucks for a DVD or even more for a Blue Ray.
5. Respect for intellectual property rights. I missed this. I understand, first hand, how the Iraqis lack of respect for this has both stimulated their own economy, and hurt their international trade options at the same time.
6. No odor in the morning. Well there was an odor when I was home, but it was of my own doing, not some local burning tires, or some oil field on fire, or just general shit burning in the atmosphere. It was pleasant to wake up to nothing but the smell of fresh air. It still felt kind-of weird though.
I will add to this list as I think of more things that I felt were weird about the US. I would have approached this the other way, but that is kind-of what this Blog has been about in the first place - the weirdness that is Iraq.