Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well, I've been back in my hometown for the sum total of five days and so far, so good. My niece has been here (she lives in Oregon), so it has been great to spend some time with her. Everything looks to me much the same as it ever has. The houses are still nestled in between large oak and pine trees, old people still drive slowly causing traffic jams and people still chatter incessantly when you go in to buy an ice cream or half a gallon of milk. Downtown Chico is still brimming with independent shops, though there are probably more empty now than I've ever seen. Must be the 'GFC'. So far I haven't really caught up with any old friends, I've been spending lots of time with the family.

I'd really forgotten how friendly people are here and in the States in general. Walking through the airport and killing time during my layover, people smiled at me for no reason and that was in L.A.! That's not to say that they're not friendly in Australia, because they are, but it's a different kind of friendly. Here shopkeepers and clerks tell you all about themselves and want to hear all about you. It's funny, I read an article about a Polish girl visiting Australia and she couldn't believe how open people were there. Imagine what she would think if she visited Northern California! It took me ten minutes to get away from the 7-11 checkout because the girl was so busy talking to me.

It's hotter than Hades here, so we've been spending as much time in the water as possible. Two sets of neighbors have pools. I have decided that I am a big fan of the after-dinner-swim; when you crawl into bed I'm nice and cool and even need to put a blanket over me. Tomorrow I'm going to 'the river' (don't ask me which one because I have got no idea, but I'll get back to you with that one) with my brother and niece. Long sessions spent in cool water is the only sensible thing to do when it's 105 degrees outside (that's 40 degrees Celsius).

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