Thursday, April 7, 2011

Re-adjusting to Kazakhstan

Looking back at my six week vacation in America, I definitely did not
enjoy it enough. I mean, I enjoyed it. I loved seeing everyone that I
got to see. I loved talking to everyone on the phone instead of over
skype, and when the time difference was at most three hours. I loved
all of it. But I took it for granted. Sure, the first week there, I
was amazed by America, but then it all felt normal. Now I'm back in
Kazakhstan, and I realize I should have eaten way more deli meat.
Drank way more root beer. Eaten more steak and more bacon and more of
everything. I also should have brought back more candy to give away
when I got back. And I should have taken more pictures.

So my advice for anyone who goes home to America, make a list of
things you want in America and get it when you first get there. Write
yourself a letter reminding yourself of all the things you can't have
in Kazakhstan. Then when you get saturated in America, read that
letter and try to remind yourself.

When I first came to Kazakshtan, I was all pumped about the Peace
Corps. I was ready for not having the finer things in life. I didn't
know if I'd have to pump my own water or eat strange food. I think
fresh PCVs get excited about having an inconvenient life. I know I
was. But now, the novelty of inconvenience has definitely worn off.
America life is so much easier and more comfortable than life here.
Maybe to excess. No, definitely to the excess. The level of
consumption in America was ridiculous. Just the sheer number of
"things" one could buy was crazy. But at the same time, I like having
a big choice of deli meats. I like paying my bills online or even with
checks. I like having a shower head that hangs on the wall. I like
having bitter beers and dark beers (do any of these exist anywhere in
Kazakhstan?) I wish people in America would choose to lead a simpler
life than they do, but I wish people here had more of a chance to make
that choice.

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