I’ve now been stateside for about two weeks, and I’m getting used to it. I think.
Today, however, I realized just how used to certain aspects of Albanian life I had become.
Last week I shelled out for some new running shoes, and today I took them out for a spin on a local trail with my sister (running on a trail again is amazing, but oddly boring – no animals to avoid). At each family, runner or cyclist we passed I had to choke back the words “Si e kalove?” or “‘tjeta” in Albanian. I realized that I had/have become so used to everyone I see while running staring at me wide-eyed that my instinctual defense mechanism of a greeting and a smile is literally a part of my DNA.
Over the course of today’s run, I managed to fool my brain back into greeting people in English. Even though I didn’t receive many greetings in return, I can’t yet tell if it’s just the American way or if I look that scary when huffing and red faced and dripping sweat.
I don’t think I’ll give up the habit, though.