Sunday, August 7, 2011

Three Things

Specifically, three things about the US that I didn't realize I missed till I got back. :-)

Item 1: street lights. Now I'm used to navigating OU's campus, which is not universally lit, so it wasn't unnerving to tromp around in Leipzig and Berlin with their noticeably lower density of lights. (Besides it's not like I was out after dark much--when the sky's light till your normal bedtime......) Still, looking out the window of the plane at Chicago was a reassuringly homecoming feeling.

Item 2: streets on a grid system. They appeal deeply to my sense of symmetry and tidiness, not to mention how much easier it is to orient oneself when wandering around. Plus they're very pretty seen from the air around sunset, so that all of the aforementioned streetlights are glimmering. It's a bit like a very neat constellation.

Item 3: urban sprawl. Go figure. I thought that something I would really miss about Germany would be all the green space within the cities--there are parks and gardens everywhere--and perhaps I will. One of the things that says "home" to me, though, is a sprawling city; even though I love the green space and parks, it feels Other, not like home.

As may be obvious, all three of these occurred to me as we were taking off from Chicago. These observations thus may or may not accurately represent my attachment to actual cities. They are nonetheless representative of a general trend--I was happy in Germany, even to the point of not really wanting to leave, but now that I'm back, I'm very happy to be home and keep seeing all kinds of stuff that was different. Not bad, not even things I disliked, just Other--just not home.

It's good to be back. :-)