A few observations, after a week back in action:
1. We are not the first people with kids to escape to Chapel Hill from the "big city" for its temperate climate, good schools, enlightened locals and friendly service-industry employees.
2. Americans are friendly, love basketball (even if they don't like basketball), like to eat mega-portions (no surprise there), and will tell you about the state of their significant relationships within 15 minutes of meeting you. "My husband Bill, God bless him, had his left testicle removed last spring, you know, after his sister passed away, and our sex life has improved like crazy!"
3. There is no such thing as a "news report" in America. Instead of what you would normally expect from a "news report," you get "The Missing White Woman" report . . . which involves a missing white woman (surprise!), a grisly/unsolved crime, and three "experts" pontificating, aimlessly, for hours on end. Whatever sells the toothpaste, eh?
4. They should make a chart of the best places for people to live at different phases in life, and everyone should be required to move, internationally, to places with widely varying economic/social conditions six or seven times. We should have a worldwide "swap your life" program. Does that make me a communist?