It's not that often that someone gets a chance to return to one's home-country. In my particular case, it has happened only twice, and the experiences for the second time have been more intense than the first time (when I was away only for three days and two nights!).
So, the particular case I am referring to, is about my return from the U.S. of A. It was after seven months and a few hours that I set foot on my beloved country. The seven months' stay abroad had definitely changed me, and I could reflect the changes in everything I came across once I was home. I was already warned about the smaller sizes of cars, tomatoes and (of course) people! However, I guess seven months is not such a long period that I should be reminded of this warning every now and then I met a person or an onion for that matter. I was smoothly integrated in the system, so to say.
However, since then, I have been trying to imagine how I'd do certain things if I were still in the US. For example, how I'd drive my two-wheeler if I were in the US, as compared to how I was actually driving it on the crowded roads of Bangalore. In those seven months, I had honked only once (that too, at the DMV inspection to get my driving license). I guess, I honked even before I kick-started my bike here! Same goes to lane crossing. I was amazed at my ability to maneuver my tiny vehicle in the sea of people, three cows, thousand vehicles and a few smokey clouds.
Some of my other habits needed some polishing as well. I was still smiling when I was way off in the taxi that took me away from the airport. Reason: I almost banged into the driver, trying to sit in the passenger seat on the left side! Other cultural shock was delivered by emotionless face of a darshini sagar when I smiled, said hi and ordered a masala dosa. (well, here it's me who is to take the blame--- perhaps I expected a waitress who would ask us to follow her to the table!)
I can go on explaining the disciplinary differences between the traffics, or respcting the red light or may criticise the 'crude' mannerisms; but in conclusion it was a great feeling to be back.
Yes. The US may have treated me well, may have explained the real meaning of prosperity and at times may have enticed me to stay back; but once back, it was a fantastic feeling.
Just as fantastic as when I landed in the US, or maybe a tad better!