As I get ready to return to the states after 4+ months in Guatemala, I have been rehearsing my answers to the questions I expect to hear numerous times. Today, however, I realized how much my reality has changed by being here.
Here are a few examples:
* My security fee at my house is more than my electric biil or my cable/internet/phone bill
* Every time I go visit a friend, I have to check in at the guard gate with my id
* Every time I enter a shopping center, I have to get a ticket or a card so that when you leave, you have the same card and the car is supposedly not stolen
* My mind immediately divides by 8 to see what it would cost in US $$$
* I see guns everywhere, since every guard carries one
* Stop signs are treated more like yield signs
* I sometimes don't notice if the radio is in English or Spanish
* I could buy flowers, nuts, and fruit, from my car, while waiting for the light to turn green
This all came to me the other day when I was having dinner at a local restaurant. The guards came in for the cash drop and 3 of the guards had, what looked to be, double barrel shot guns. I know very little about guns so I really don't know what kind they were, but I just went back to eating. I didn't even think twice about it.
Reality can change based on a lot of things, but I certainly say that location can make things change the faster. Its safe to say that that is why I am here. I was ready for a change and here it is. It seems so second nature though, in such a short time. I wonder if anything back home will strike me as weird, after being away.