It feels awesome to be home. Touching down on American soil in Detroit was a great feeling. During our layover in Detroit we went to a sports bar in the airport and got some great American food and American beer--it was only 10 am local mind you, but we were still running on China time. It was great to order in regular English. In China we had to use very simple English (sometimes we had to point at a picture of what we wanted while at other points we were dependent on our group's Chinese speakers to order for us) and we were not able fully express ourselves to the server; back in Detroit, we were able to tell the bartender exactly how we wanted our burgers cooked and what veggies and condiments we wanted on it. We were also able to make small talk with the bartender which we never did in China (except at Hank's Sports Bar in Tianjin).
One of biggest differences that I immediately noticed was traffic--I'm sure everybody else noticed the same thing. For one thing, there are far less cars on the road making travel much easier. This is because the population of our entire state is less than many of the cities we visited while in China. Another thing is the lack of bicyclists and pedestrians. In China, there were hundreds of people on bikes everywhere one looked; also, there were a lot of people walking on the sidewalks. These people biked and walked as their main forms of transportation. In the US, people normally only walk and bike for exercise, not necessarily for transportation. Driving is far more structured is the United States. In China, there would be 3 painted lanes; however, there would be 5 lanes of traffic and a lane for bikes. Here, people stay in their lanes. There is about 1/100th of the honking in Minnesota compared to China. Although driving is much more structured in the US it is not necessarily safer. I only saw about 3 accidents in China the entire month I was there. I have already seen like 10 people pulled over on the side of the road with minor accidents. I think this is because people in China have to drive much slower (about 20 mph) because of all the traffic. We drive so fast and are distracted by things like cell phones and loud music that there are a lot more accidents.