...of a new kind. I"ve been teaching people how to read and write English. There are about 15 of us here. One woman told me this story and I wanted to share (her name is Helen but she won't allow me to set up her own account for her; she's been here 10 years!!)
I know I'm missing a lot in this perception I'm about to express, but it truly feels like I'm studying abroad IN THE USA. In my "home" country.
This week, my cell phone should arrive in the mail. It's going to be such an adjustment, having constant access to the world and time. Time especially. For over a year, I've lived without a cell phone and watch. (I haven't developed the patience I thought I would - haha!)
There has been no news source except other people, no TV/cable, and limited internet / electricity use. Vagues ideas when people mention reality TV shows and other references, like popular people and movies. I don't really "shop" so fashion and spending don't affect me that much - but it has been a challenge dressing "professionally" enough. I don't use a credit card or drive a car, even though I have the option to do so.
Despite how many times people will ask these questions, I'm not from anywhere and will not be having more children. Yes this is true: I have never, ever even tried drinks with alcohol in them, done drugs, or gotten pierced/tatooed. I don't take pills for anything, and don't buy pads or tampons - I wash out my reusable (and adorably cute) menstrual products each month. The list goes on and on, and I wonder how many people have these lists of their own. It's truly a type of culture shock, even though I've lived in the US my whole life.
Some interactions which are typical, or typically humorous:
"It's getting late, we should flush the toilet now before we fall asleep."
"Do you have the containers for the grocery store ready?"
"Excuse me, what time is it?"
"Great! We'll only have to carry the cat litter for 15 minutes rather than 45."
"No - don't put it in that plastic bag please."
"What does that mean?"
"You know, just anything without animal in it."