Recently, I had the opportunity to return to America. Mainly I needed to return for my brother's wedding and I did not necessarily want to leave Poland, but the circumstances determined my actions and I had little choice in the matter. Although, I may joke about not wanting to return, I must first say that I was very lucky to even have the means to go back because I understand that many people would not have the option to do this, and I must count myself as fortunate that I was able to return. So, I was lucky that I could afford the plane tickets all the way from Poland to Florida. The journey to Florida was an adventure in itself. I had to spend a full night at the Copenhagen airport like a bum, and of course when I finally reached America I was very tired. I expected to be tired, but I was not prepared for my experience in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
It was strange going back to America. Perhaps it is because I am not from Florida and it was my first time there. However, I think there is more to my experience than this. Firstly, it was strange to understand everyone all the time. My Polish is o.k. and I can generally get around and survive, but I certainly don't understand everything. So, going back to a place where I could understand every word of every conversation around me was a strange experience. In my first few hours back in the States I found myself listening to conversations around me, not because I wanted to but mainly because some part of me was pulled to the fact that i could understand everything. Honestly though, it kind of became boring. I had to go to some stores and purchase things, mainly medicine because I was sick. At these strores I found it uninteresting when I had to talk with the cashiers, it was mundane. I believe this is because in Poland there is excitement at every turn. Even while buying bread I can hear a word, phrase, or expression that is new to me. Where as in America this was not the case and this was kind of disappointing for me.
Other than the conversations there were some other thigns I noticed. First of all the roads and infrastructure in America are different. Coming from the Polish context to the American style it was certainly strange. At the airport I noticed on-going construction and the equipment and style of construction was completely different than in Poland. I think in Poland more work is done by hand, but in America there are more machines and machine-work. I even noticed some containers that were different. My mother purchased a gallon of orange juice for the place we were staying. I went to pour a cup from this gallon, and I was shocked at how big it looked. One gallon is about 3.75 liters, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw this huge container of orange juice. I had forgotten about gallons until that point and it was weird to see such a large container.
After a while I did feel more at home in America. However, my first few days back were a strange time. It could be I was jet-lagged. Maybe it was because Poland is starting to feel like a second home. Perhaps it was a combination of the two. Either way I enjoyed my brother's wedding and Fllorida quite a lot. However, I am also very happy to be back in Poland as well.
Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan David was raised by his parents with his two sisters and brother.