I arrived in San Francisco yesterday after a grueling two-day travel schedule, and I literally kissed the ground I was so happy. I still haven’t stopped smiling, 15 hours later.
The best part about being back is being around so many Americans. I’ve spent the past year observing Vietnamese people through the lens of my American identity, comparing their customs and manner to that of Americans. Being gone for a year, you start to lose touch a little with what Americans are actually like, and I missed interacting with them all the time.
Coming to San Francisco I was just cracking up laughing at so many people that are ridiculous in their own way and are the type of characters that I just don’t see in Vietnam. Some aging hippies on the flight, some polite thuggish looking guys, a 300+ lb dude with a pony tail, skater punks,nascar enthusiast guy, beer guts, and yes even the uber-cool hipsters: they all tripped me up laughing and made me so happy to be back.
Most people I’ve talked to say that the novelty of being back in the USA usually wears off after about two weeks. Maybe. Right now though all I can think is: America rocks!
Top Five Things I Missed the Most (In Descending Order)
1. My family and friends. Obviously.
2. Zaxby’s sauce
3. A short break from work
4. Cheap golf
5. Not fearing imminent death traveling from point A to B
I can’t even think of 5 things I didn’t miss right now. Maybe prices. For example, SIM Card + minutes in Vietnam: $4 ; USA: $64. Seriously, that’s bullshit.
Lastly, for the record and for my parents, here’s a video Julia put together about our climbing of Mount Fancy Pants (or Phans Xi Phan if you’re a stickler). It was a 15km hike to the top of the highest mountain in Indochina. I came to regret bringing a huge backpack with tons of stuff I didn’t need (like four hardcover boks… for “options”), but it was an amazing climb. It was a tough climb though, I could barely walk for a week afterwards after taking on steep paths and terrain for 30km during two days. The video is just some flip camera footage while climbing with a healthy focus on our somewhat-sketchy tour guide: