I’m being changed, in the kind of way that happens when your friends go off to study abroad, and they all come back giggling every time someone holds their hand in a way that seems arbitrary to you. Except it’s just me, and I don’t know I’m doing it. Because I’ve been here the length of nine study abroad semesters.

Here are the things I do:

  • cover my mouth when I laugh
  • wave with both hands flapping
  • always say “hello” with a question mark
  • satisfy myself with knowing that something is “good for my health” without actually knowing any facts or particulars about how or what makes it “good” or where or what part of my “health” or body are being serviced
  • drop articles (grammar articles)
  • feel uncomfortable if any chest skin below my neck is showing
  • don’t feel uncomfortable wearing short skirts and shorts
  • I try to look nice for work (in all fairness, I should have been more thoughtful about this in my past, but if I was just going to sit in a windowless office without any chance of being seen other than by my co-workers, jeans and a t-shirt seemed fine. These days… jeans are okay but my top is nice, I do my hair, and usually throw on a little bit of makeup. Because if I don’t, I look “sick” or “tired.”
  • meh probably other things I don’t even realize