Sat Sep 09 2006 18:02 PST Long way home: I'm in the blah stage of reverse culture-shock, the one that sucks so much, because everything seems like it would be better if I was back where I just came from. The fact that I knew this would happen--once I washed all my clothes and had a few good soaks and my fix of American food and sleep in a real bed--doesn't make it any easier. Nothing tastes right. Even my preciousss cheetos seemed a bit off when I first had them (and I can't seem to find the Chester fries I was so addicted to before I left anywhere! Woe!) Good roads have lost their novelty. The Safeway that seemed glorious and overwhelming a week ago now lacks charm and character. Why do you need 30 different kinds of mustard, and aisles wide enough to walk down without knocking something over, anyway? And the tomatoes... no way can go from eating Serbian tomatoes to eating Safeway tomatoes without a hitch. It just can't be done. You might as well not eat a tomato at all. And everything here is so expensive Everything's relative of course, but now my relativity is a bit skewed.