Friday, August 12, 2011

Things I noticed upon returning to the USofA

1) The expectation of communication. As soon as I landed in the US and turned on my USA cellphone that had been collecting dust in the corner of my closet all year, my phone exploded in my hands. I got text message after text message telling me welcome home and they can't wait to hear from me--- i didn't know how I could possibly respond to so many people. I was unaccustomed to frequent communication in SA, and it was common that I would send a text message (which costs a rand) and wouldn't receive a response for days. That was typical. Now I had all these people who wanted to hear from me and EXPECTED to hear from me like now now, and I was in shock.

2)Hair products. My first morning back in my old room I open the cabinet in the bathroom in search of a toothbrush, and all I find is hair products, so many hair products. I couldn't remember why I had all of these hair products, or even what I had ever needed them for in the first place. So maybe my hair hasn't been the greatest this year, but honestly, the products don't really do all that much anyway…

3)Coca-Cola Freestyle. So one of my first days back I go to pick up Moe's (something that I had been craving tremendously in SA) and meet my sister for lunch. This is the first time I have really had to order in a fast food restaurant for quite a while, so I was rather nervous to begin with. Thankfully I managed completing both orders correctly, answering the questions appropriately to ensure the desired results. White or Wheat? Beans? Salsa- mild, medium, spicy? Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, many more toppings that I can't think of right now? Just when I thought I was in the clear, I head to fill up the drinks,,, but instead I wind up with some Back to the Future inspired machine. After gawking for a solid minute at this contraption fully equipped with a touch screen, a large red button which says PUSH, and one spigot for the drinks and ice,,, I read the instructions on the left and proceed with caution. Simple enough- touch the touch screen, choose a soda, and press the red button. However, once you choose a soda, it then breaks out into 11 thousand different flavors which you have never heard of in the soda category you chose. Want a simple Diet Coke? Impossible, Press the Diet Coke button and up pops Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Raspberry Diet Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Orange Diet Coke, Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke, etc…. I thought I had problems making decisions before I left the States, but now this so called amazing invention called Coca-Cola Freestyle comes along giving me the "ultimate beverage experience" with 100+ choices and I am really stuck. I can't make a decision because I am given too many options.


~Heather Anne Nelson

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