What is always a cultural shock coming back to the US of A is the amazing abundance of stuff we swim in on a daily basis...physical stuff, food stuff, informational stuff. And here in the Bay Area, I might add the rich and densely packed cultural mix we live in..anglos, francos, italianos, latinos, african-americans, asians of all persuasians, muslims, jews, indians from india, american indians. Amazing.
It is rich, it is beautiful, and yet I think it can also contribute to a kind of numbing out, a kind of overload. Most certainly, living here, we rarely step back to appreciate the abundance of stuff we have.
I am always astonished, returning from the developing world, to see television sets, sofas, CD players, boxes of books, just left out on street corners for anyone to pick up. The variety of mustards we can buy if we are so inclined, to put in our refrigerators. The fact that we even have refrigerators. Holy shit.