Tuesday, October 30

Reverse culture shock

It's been over a year since I've been in the States -- just long enough to be culturally out of sync.

Everything is so clean and orderly -- no pot holes -- no highways where the rain drains toward the center of the road. Then again, I'm in Irvine -- the heart of Orange County -- right now. It's a little different up the road in south LA.

It's 70 degrees out -- hardly any humidity. But I'm not feeling too cold.

There are just so many rich white people. This first struck me at the airport in Honolulu -- I felt like I was in Scottsdale -- well-heeled seniors all over the place. It really is a different world.

Hearing Spanish spoken everywhere feels so familiar and bueno -- even though my Spanish hasn't improved during my absence. I hear more Spanish in Irvine than Chamorro on Guam.

In-N-Out Burger now takes credit cards.

The Jack in the Box I'm sitting in right now is at least partially solar-powered. I don't think they're totally off grid :-) but who two years ago would have thought of Jack as being a green leader! They also have free WiFi.

I walked through one of the libraries in the UCI campus. The students are sitting in study rooms working out complicated scientific problems on the white boards. They have more books stacked in front on them for one study session than most of our students will open in an entire year. Sigh. The disparity of college preparation and opportunity is so great.

More later -- I'm sure...

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