10 ways I know I am back in the United States when...
- I reach down to plug in my laptop and realize it won't fit because the adapter is still on the plug end.
- I get straight to the business of ordering my chicken burrito at the airport without any formal greetings.
- I am free to ride in a car on the freeway without reading every single sign on the highway in panic mode.
- I don't pull my shoulders in while driving on local roads (as if it will help the car squeeze through).
- My sleep remains filled with dreams of roundabouts and white-lined pavement speeding underneath my car.
- I have strange cravings for toasted blueberry poptarts. Maybe it was the waffles?
- I do not have cravings for french fries (well satiated).
- I'm entertaining the idea of drinking water rather than beer with a meal, okay maybe wine.
- I'm weaning myself off daily chocolate.
- I miss modern interior design.
- Wow this is beautiful. [countryside]
- Whoa! [the one word that sums up passing trucks on small roads]
- No chip. [pointing to my credit card]
- Lost again. [navigating Belgium]
- This is so good. [happy moments sipping beer]
The relaxed accepting demeanor of the Belgian fan that Ted King conveys through his story of the family who gave him a ride home from the race, best sums up my experience of my own travels through Belgium. After suffering a flat tire with no team support car in site, American Ted King (Team Liguigas) finished his Paris-Roubaix, heading to the city of Roubaix, in a family car with 3 generations of Belgian cycling fans.