I have been back in sunny California for a week, and have been greeted with overcast and foggy weather. In leaving Lille, I was hoping to enjoy nice, sunny, beach filled days. Alas, the weather is finally nice in the North, and I am 6,000 miles away, stuck with grey skies.
So far I have enjoyed being back home. I missed it here, even if I can’t seem to get any of that sunshine California is known for.
I drove for the first time in 8 months four days after my arrival. It felt weird to finally be behind the wheel again, but it also felt completely natural. I think it’s like riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it, you never forget. I only stalled out once!
My mom and I were getting in my brother’s Camri, which does not have automatic locks. As the driver, I unlocked my door and then leaned over to unlock hers. After settling in her seat, my mom said to me, “I love how compact this car! It’s so small you can just reach over and unlock all the doors!”
I started laughing. Although I knew by American standards my brother’s car is indeed small, having four doors would qualify it as large by French standards. We were leaving a Costco, and I quickly took inventory of the other cars in the parking lot. I realized that I had not seen so many SUVs, or quatre quatre as the French say, since I’d been in France.
I haven’t experienced reverse culture shock yet, but everything does seem a lot bigger to me now.