Now that I've been back for about a week, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts.
A lot of people have been asking me about reverse culture shock. Aside from a few surface level things (remembing to drive on the right side of the road, not recognizing any of the new music on the radio) I've had no major problems. Nothing like the horror stories I've been hearing from my friends, anyway. Right now I'm just really glad to be back and to be living a normal life again.
I suspect this is because reverse culture shock is supposed to go in cycles, and typically doesn't set in until 3 weeks or so. I'm still in the honeymoon phase. Or maybe it proves my theory that if you stay in Japan until you're absolutely sick of it, it makes it easier to leave.
What I've Been Doing
This past Sunday I went up to Ann Arbor with my parents to help my sister move out of her apartment.
On Monday I attended the local peace presence rally. Those of you still in Grand Rapids should seriously think about checking it out. It's every Monday from 4:30-5:30 on the northeast corner of Division and Fulton, and is just people quietly holding signs against the war. Check out their website here.
Tuesday night I went to one of IGE's teach-ins about Peak Oil, presented by this gentlemen here. It's a very sombering topic. Basically the idea is that we're going to hit peak production of oil very soon, and then afterwords there's not going to be enough oil to go around. Because electricity, plastics, heating and even food transportation all depend on oil, there's a lot of gloom and doom predictions about what this will mean. For more information check out this article here. (Although, Mr. Luke, your objections are duly noted).
Wednesday night Bork and Adam treated me to a sneak preview of the new X-Men movie (I'll resist the temptation to write a long review of it. Instead I'll just say I thought it was "pretty cool"). Then we went to the bar with Bork's fellow seminary students. I never thought I'd be at the bar talking with a bunch of slightly intoxicated Seminarians. Now I can cross that off my list of things to do before I die. (Seriously though, those Calvin Seminary students are a lot cooler than you might think).
It's always interesting to meet people in real life that you have only known through blogging, and to see how they match up to the image you have formed of them. It was really cool to meet the infamous Meg (who not long ago emerged as the darling of the blogosphere, or at least the portion of it I follow).
And Jana. (Actually I knew Jana a little in high school. We had a Latin class together).
From tomorrow I'm going on a road trip with my sister and Mom out to Colorado where I will finally meet my new niece. Looking forward to it. I'll be gone all next week, but after that I'll be back in G.R. again.
Useless Wikipedia Fact
Despite Grand Rapids' stereotype as a bastion of rock-ribbed conservatism, the city tends to elect moderate Republicans (at least by national standards). The city of Grand Rapids itself - excluding its suburbs - supported Democrats Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.
Link of the Day
Army Recruitment Numbers on Race Reveal Disproportionate Numbers of People of Color, Poor; Michigan’s Eaton County has Highest Latino Recruitment Rate