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I’m in Houston for the first time in six months and it’s rather strange. Many of the people that I’m used to having around are now gone and that’s kind of sad. And most of the Rice people are out of town this week for Spring Break. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m on Spring Break too. I guess so, but it’s like a 2 month long spring break. So…not really. Anyhow, things seem different around here, as they always do when you’re gone for months on end. More of 59 is underground, my favorite gas station is gone (yes, I had a favorite gas station, but no longer), there are stop signs in places where there didn’t used to be stop signs. Things are different with some of my friends. Some of them are married (scary!!!), looking for jobs in the real world (also very frightening), and doing different things.

On a more positive note, I have new running shoes, and that’s always fun. I’m trying to limit myself to only running every other day coming off a couple months of not running much to avoid re-spraining my ankle and getting shin splints, which are an almost inevitable occurrence when I run. But that’s hard when I have nothing to do all day, and I’m also not allowed to lift weights for the next month while my hand heals. I hate not being active and getting exercise. Oh, that’s more good news. I met with the hand surgeon last week and they’re not going to do surgery any more because my hand is healing properly. I have to wear an annoying brace for the next month and it really limits what I can do with my left arm, but I guess that’s better than surgery AND an annoying brace for a month. The worst part about it is really explaining over and over again to every person who sees it and asks “Oh no, what happened to your arm?”
The thing that I’ve enjoyed doing most since I got home is going to the grocery store. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. In Germany I go almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I don’t have much refrigerator space to store food, they don’t use preservatives so it doesn’t last very long, and it’s a form of entertainment when I’m bored. So I’ve started to really like grocery shopping, even though I hate most kinds of shopping. But it’s so much more fun here in the states where we have giant grocery stores with a huge selection of everything, self-checkout lanes, thunder noises before they spray the veggies in the produce section, and Whole Foods. I was in an HEB in College Station the other day and they had bottles of Volvic water- I drink tons of that water in Germany, it’s the best water ever- in the British Food section. Volvic is actually bottled in France, go figure. But here it costs $2.69 a bottle. More than twice what it costs in Germany, even figuring in the crappy exchange rate. So I don’t think I’ll be buying Volvic water here. I don’t have the Germans’ strange obsession with expensive bottled water. And there’s no Pfand here, which is half the fun.
Alright. On with my day!

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