My old habits are resurfacing like a dream that you remember two days later and mixing with new habits--I'm much more organized; I want my surroundings cleaner; and I procrastinate less. However, in many respects I am more flexible about how people live. I know a lot of people come back from studying abroad and they try to force their new way of life on their families saying, "This is how they do it in ____." For me though, I see that people live differently and you should just let them live as they see fit. There is good and bad about every lifestyle. It's really easy to come back to your home and immediately condemn the things you don't like about it, because you have always grown up with it. However, when you do view it as an interesting and different culture from the one you just come from, I think it is easier to transition back and not see the lifestyles of the people there as "wrong."
Max said to me that he was interested about how I would transition back to Kansas life, because the group of students from my university who stayed in Essen for a month are having a really rough time with it. He said that I had been in Essen longer, and so it might be easier or harder. For them, they are discovering that American coffee sucks, the produce sucks, the bread sucks, and while I agree on all of those points, I also see what it has to offer. There is so much space here.
A couple days after I came back, I sliced up an apple for Lela and me. I bit into it and it was crisp, yet flavorless. I asked Lela if it was a good apple, to which she shrugged and said, "Yeah. It's pretty good I guess." I told her that it would have been a really crappy apple in Germany. Then, two nights ago I had dinner with a friend who made sushi. He artfully peeled the flesh from around the core of a cucumber so that it unrolled into one long mat, leaving the seeds in an unbroken log. He asked me if I wanted to eat the seeded part, so I did. Once again, it was fairly flavorless.