My short visit home has intensified the feeling that I am living in two alternate dimensions at once. The life I left behind in America has continued steadily like a moving sidewalk, and I hopped back onto it with surprising ease the moment my plane landed. But it's taken the longest time to shake this queer feeling that my five month absence is something I dreamed. Weirder yet is accepting that in a few days I'll be returning to that strange reality where I'm sure these moments in the motherland will take on a dream-like feeling. Being here is not unlike falling into a worm hole, or the way people might feel after being abducted by aliens. I also feel like I have split personalities, my Atlanta personality that emerged after a few days of coaxing, and my China personality which I hope hasn't gone too far into hiding during my stay here. 

China habits that don't go well here: Throwing trash on the floor in restaurants. Spitting. Not wearing a seatbelt. 

America features I'm not liking so much: Cold drinks. Expensive food. Needing a car.

Upon my return to this fine nation, I promptly took care of the things I miss most in China by visiting a dive bar and seeing a live show. It was fantastic to see my best friends again and we shared a pitcher (something else I miss in China) and headed to 529 to check out a metal show. Maybe a lot of it was a buzz from the beer and the glow of being around my kindred spirits after such a long absence, but I really dug this show. Metal is usually not my thing, but I was caught up in the energy. It was just so American, ya know? It's a subculture that just doesn't exist at the same level in China. There were lots of long haired bearded people in black band shirts. The basist of the band had cornrows and, I shit you not, a forked beard. The lead singer introduced his songs with an affected demonic voice saying things like "this song is about you. It's called.... SERPENT TONGUE!" then noise and energy would blow up the room. The songs were about Satan but I was in heaven. I must have looked a little pathetic rocking out with my fingers lodged in my ears because someone tapped me on the shoulder and offered me some earplugs. Thank you, kind metal show samaritan. These are the kinds of experiences that I really miss having in China.

I've filled the rest of my time with other things I've missed, particularly veggie burgers and Mexican food. I've tried to see as many friends as I can. I've watched a lot of my parents' fine cable and visited my old stomping ground in Down Town Atlanta. It's been a whirlwind but an interesting whirlwind. I just hope I don't feel as weird and out of it when I return home (or should I say to China? Or is it home?) because I'm going to have to start work like the next day.  And I can't afford to be in a daze, my mind boggled by philosophical mysteries of space and time, when there are third graders to wrangle.