Back in the Cold

December 10-15, 2016

I went to the Taipei airport in the morning and suffered through the weekend traffic that flocks public transportation in Taiwan. Usually I push through like a soldier in battle, but I had two large suitcases, so I was constantly being knocked by people who weren’t paying attention. I was so thankful to get to the airport and check-in my bags. All my flights were fine, but I was so tired by the time I finally arrived in Sioux Falls, Sioux Dakota. I thought I was going to experience some extreme reverse culture shock, but I didn’t really have any. It was like jumping back into a routine that was familiar; like a dance I knew the steps to. My parents and sister met me at the airport. After some much needed hugs I changed into snow boots and put my layers on. Then I got a nose bleed. I think between the dry air in the airports, airplanes, and winter air my nose wasn’t having it. It had been snowing for most of the day, so we had to drive 3 hours back home in the snow. Back at my house I collapsed in bed. I was finally home.

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The next day was Sunday, so I went to church with my family and then later we went to a Cantata. My dad was one of the narrators and I got to see my old band teacher, Mr. Fielder.

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For the next couple of days I worked on a Power Point presentation about me, my travels, my job, and Taiwan. My former social studies teacher, Mr. Hansen, had asked me if I would come and talk to his two 7th grade classes. I agreed and it was great! The kids were exactly what I expected from 7th graders, and although some of their questions were ridiculous, they were curious. It got me thinking that maybe I could actually be a teacher in the US. My mom came to both of my presentations and she helped me pass out Taiwanese snacks to the kids.

I hung out at the house and then made my way to Minnesota on Wednesday. I stopped in Henry, SD to see my brother for a bit and then drove to Minneapolis. Driving is so easy in the US! Like sooo easy! I realized how much I had taken for granted the ease of driving in the US.

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My car, back in commission.  

I met Dustin at Caribou (gotta drink that bou!) then he took us out to eat at Surly Brewery in Saint Paul. The beer and food were both delicious. It was weird how natural it was to be hanging out with Dustin and eating dinner, just like old times. It was great seeing him again after our Japan trip. One thing that I wasn’t a fan of….it was freezing! I was so unbelievable cold and even inside everyone would shed their layers and I would maybe take off my winter coat. I wasn’t doing well with the cold. Dustin and I stayed up for awhile and then we headed to bed.

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In the morning, I went to work with Dustin and did some work on my Macbook in an empty office. A commute with my friend and a McDonald’s hash brown! I mean could it get any better.

Later Dustin drove me to Josman’s place and we went to get lunch. It was so cool seeing Josman again and just catching up. Eventually, we went to Mall of America and then he drove me to the airport. We talked about doing a road trip to Mount Rushmore after New Years, but it never happened. The winter roads were just too shitty. Josman dropped me off at the airport and I was off to Florida!