25 October 2010 – American Reflections

First thing that let me know I was in America was the women’s room in Dulles Airport in DC. When I went into the bathroom not only could I sit down to do my business but I also could use a circle of tissue paper to protect my butt from other women’s butt germs. AMERICA! I truly was in the promised land. This is a long way from squatting in a tin enclosure and praying that the splash back contains only my urine.  After five weeks in America I still felt the same about the public rest rooms. At our last dinner together I told Jeanette and Helen the THING I would miss most was the public restrooms.

Helen’s refridgerator overwhelmed me with choices. strawberries, cherries, milk, juice, Dr. Pepper, pickles, sliced cheese, condoments, leftovers and more. There was bigger variety of products in her fridge than I had in some grocery stores in Ghana!

Liz’s phone blew my mind. I had a conceptual idea of the iphone but to seeing was believing. It’s every form of communication you need in the palm of your hand. When Dee downloaded “Mass Pike” as we were driving on the Mass Pike I felt like a rube asking “Wait how did she do that!?” We use to say in the library that people want it now – with the iphone they CAN have it now.

Rick’s list on CNN was too much. I went to the doctor with Helen on the way to a party.  This show was on. It felt like the creators of Sesame Street had produced the news, with the bright images, loud sounds and blod words flashing on and off the screen. There were three different stories on the screen at once and he spent less than a minute on each story.

The view from Jack’s window.

HD flat panel widescreen tvs. When Ken turned on NESNHD I felt like I had walked into Fenway Park.

Liz and I were in the produce aisle of the grocery store. I told her that when I am in Ghana I am self righteous about eating local and seasonal foods but now that I was here in all this abundance it sure was nice to have access to fruits and veggies from all over the world.

Houston is a large sprawling metropolis with large sprawling suburbs impossible to get around without a car. But it is a beautiful city, clean and well landscaped. You can get almost anything you need within 20 mins from your house. I had forgotten a city can have 3 Sonic Drive-ins.

I traveled thousands of miles in the time it would take me to catch a bus, then a tro and go 200 miles in Ghana.

It’s funny to have experienced culture shock in my home country.