We’re back to U.S. soil! It is a wonderful feeling to be immersed in a culture that is completely intuitive. Now when we order a hamburger, for instance, there’s no guessing about what we want, how to do it, what we’ll get, etc. We can handle this. We’re Americans.
Something that has taken more than a few days to sink in since returning, though, is the realization that all of our Internet access is back in action. No more blocked websites, no more having to use proxy sites to see banned pages. It takes a little effort to convince ourselves that Youtube is still functional, with hours of hilarious videos free for the watching. Every time we received an email link to a video in China we considered it a cruel joke, knowing that we were completely blocked off from sharing in the fun!
We can also speak openly about places like Taiwan and Tibet. After a year and a half of closely guarding our speech, it feels strange even saying the names of these places out loud! Our thinking patterns were definitely influenced by the Chinese censorship practices.
So we’re relishing the chance to be Americans again for a few months. Freedom to do whatever we want, speak on any topics we please, protest openly about anything we’re concerned about. You don’t realize how great it is until it’s gone for awhile.