I came back to the U.S for a couple of weeks to visit family and go to my nephews wedding. I have to admit I felt the twilight zone feeling in my own country; where I'm used to everything but little things catch me off guard.
It was weird hearing "Federal" in front of all the laws as it was announced on the flight and in the airport. Every time I heard it, it was for something ridiculous and the announcer sounded like they were trying to be apologetic but was using the law to hide behind. I had not been back since the change to the extra pointless security song and dance. I am thoroughly angry that I was told to use the back scatter X-ray without being told what it was. Yes, I feel violated.
I was surprised that I was not surprised by the lots of people talking with American accents. I guess for the same reasons of hanging out with so many different nationalities making it so I did not pick up a British accent, easier for me to adjust to everyone speaking with an American accent. My family was surprised that I didn't have an accent but I feel that I had picked up the sing-song cadence that faded my first day back in the U.S. The deadpan sarcasm has stayed though. It was weird catching myself referring to London as home when talking to family.
The biggest difference I noticed for the 3 state road trip was the blatant consumerism billboards. The billboards seemed to fall into one of the two groups. "You're not happy, buy this to be happy" or "You're sick, do this procedure and you'll be happy". I couldn't help looking at all the billboards I guess because of my loss of desensitization away from them.
I brought digestives, Jaffa cakes, and Soreen squidgy bread with me. I bought stuff for s'mores, shampoo, protein snack bars, isopropyl alcohol, some new shoes, and a good frying pan for the things I could not find back in the U.K. (I think part of it is just not having access to a car.)
I have adjusted to prices in pounds in my head so the prices in dollars seemed high to me and I kept forgetting tax for figuring cost in my head while waiting in line so I never had enough cash in my hand.
The way I dressed was defiantly foreign, especially for Utah, not to mention not adjusted for the heat. Everything felt so far apart with so many parking lots. I felt like my brain was stretching the whole time there.
I didn't have a problem driving after adjusting to left hand traffic. Since all my experience with left hand traffic over the last 8 months has been as a pedestrian there was no spill over to when I was behind the wheel. (except for a one time urge to go left around a round-about.)