There are things that you think you know about America as a long-term American abroad, and there are things that you thought you knew about America as a long-term American abroad.
1. I don't think that I ever had a conversation with a total stranger in Germany that spiralled into a lengthy, 30-minute discussion about the merits of one topic or another and that I felt could simply keep going on forever, eventually turning into something more significant than a conversation between two strangers.
2. Everyone is so friendly you think they love you, and plan on spending a few hours after each interaction with you thinking about how they could help make you happier.
3. There is absolutley no sense of style. Style has been completely and utterly trumped by convenience. They think a restaurant in a strip mall can have an "atmosphere," but don't tell them I told you.
4. If I weren't returning to Europe for a 5-day visit in 6-7 weeks, with mulitple (longer) visits to follow, I would not have been able to go through with this.
5. I'm so happy to see the sun shining every day, I don't care if I have to spend the rest of my life in a Hardee's parking lot.
6. I have been on the road to the final four, and it has been so good I have not had time to think about style. Atmosphere can kiss my boot-ay. Go George Mason!
7. When Lennon wrote "Nowhere Man," (if it was Lennon - sorry Craig), he had no idea.