A frequent question I get is, “So Abby, what’s it like being back in America?”


It’s like seeing your brother or sister, or your college roommate, your best friend from childhood, or even a former colleague. Someone you know inside and out from years of living together, working together, or playing together…and you haven’t seen them in a long time. When you get together, you find that you still know them, but you have to remind yourself of things you once took for granted, like her tomato allergy or his sense of humor.

Revisiting a culture is like that too.

What are all these goyim doing on my airplane flight?

Was it always this cold in October?

What’s with all these useless pennies?

Why is this lady apologizing to me for taking too long serving herself pumpkin pie in the buffet line?

Do people really buy all this crap on the superstore shelves?

How can I let all this clean water just run down the drain like that?

Why are there so many stop signs?

What’s with all these stay-at-home moms?

One great thing about being back in America is I don’t have to worry about communicating in a foreign language, even to pass the time of day. When I speak in Hebrew, there’s a bit of discomfort pulling at the edges of my consciousness, even when I’m having what appears to be a fluent conversation. It gets to be wearing after a while to be never entirely at ease in social interactions.

Jeff had his conference, which went well. He is following up with contacts he made and waiting to hear about interviews. It’s kind of fun to look at all the different places we might be living.


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