I can’t help but notice that every time I go to a city, the same thing always happens. You get caught up in all the delicious food,especially protein (the concept of getting yogurt, real meat, and eggs is insane) spending loads of time on the internet, cursing at the internet, trying to work, writing blog posts, catching up on what you missed in terms of American pop culture…etc while everyone else is wondering when you are coming back to the United States.
Going to a big city also involves spending lots of money…you don’t have your water filter, so you have to buy treated water, if I’m in Ouaga, I’m not going to bike around because the traffic patterns are horrific, so I have to pay for a taxi. I always end up with an empty wallet after Ouaga or visiting my regional capital, but you barely spend money in village, so it’s ok.
But I feel like every time I go on a civilization “bender.” OMG there’s all of this stuff, and I’m going to stay up until 3AM trying to skype with people and or watching movies when my village bed time is 8:30PM. There’s also the race trying to get everything done, for example getting supplies for soap making, going to Marina Market and getting delicious food, meeting with other ex-pats, getting stuff done at our Bureau, having appointments with your APCD/PCMOs and rushing to get everything done on your to-do list before you get back on brousse.
Personally I’m a bit scared of what might happen the first time I go to an American style drug store or Target. I’ve heard horror stories from RPCVs who had panic attacks when being confronted with all of the choices in an American store. When I go to Europe on vacation my parents may have to drag me out of the store quivering in awe of the wonderful things there.