Yesterday and today were really busy...I spent a lot of Friday morning getting in touch with people, then went shopping. (Amazing how I tried to pack light and yet I got the "heavy" tag on my bag. 28 kilos. And I still have nothing to wear!)
Today I slept in and then went with my friend to one of the Temples of Consumerism, Lowes, since she was looking for a soap dispenser to match her faucet. I was a little freaked out to see the SpongeBob SquarePants lamp.
I spent the afternoon at the Smithsonian, where I was the only viewer for the exhibit commemorating the centennial of Filipino migration to the US. The exhibit was a series of narratives with illustrations showing the different stages of Filipino migration to the US, from the earliest Filipino sailors in the 17th century to the wave that my mother was a part of in the 1960s. Then I went straight to the Maryland suburbs to a friend's house who is LDS and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. It was the first time I met her kids - adorable, well-behaved, and articulate - and after dinner we all walked to the local ice cream parlor for a selection of exotic ice creams. I had ginger, guava, and strawberry cheesecake. Yum!
I'd say that my reverse culture shock is not as extreme as before. It's still a little strange to see phenomena that I've heard about but not really seen. Like how many more Americans are now fatter than ever, or how everyone has cell phones now. It's also weird to see things in 3-D that I'd only seen in magazines, like clothes and gadgets. I keep up on "big" news when I'm overseas but not really the little details.... That's what makes me feel out of sorts, I think.