It's strange seeing large families with 2+ children
I hadn't noticed this on my prior trips back, but I saw lots of large families in Chicago and Denver airports with two, three, and sometimes four plus children and it was a little jarring. I see hundreds of families each day in China but 95% of these are one child families.
Seems small, but it was strange sitting in Chicago airport on my iPad browsing the web without a VPN and having YouTube videos magically appear and play within news articles where in China I'd only previously seen white spaces.
There are lots of fat, perturbed people here
Don't get me wrong - China has its share of overweight people (and I'm no supermodel myself), but it's still nowhere close to the US, particularly in the female population. It was very noticable to be walking through the airports today. You also notice the difference in service and in the attitutes of service industry workers, especially at the airports. I had very different experiences today when communicating with boarding gate workers, airport employees, and ticket agents in Hong Kong (smiling, helpful, attentive) and in Chicago (impersonal, unsympathetic, "why are you bothering me?" faces). There were of couse individual exceptions in each airport, but not many.
My internet usage habits need adjusting
In China I'm used to browsing American websites no more than once a day, as it's already night in the US and the websites are full of completed content from the previous day. I don't bother surfing American websites more than once each as I know sites won't be producing any new content until nighttime (when it's morning in the US). When I'm in America, these same websites are now constantly updating and producing new content throughout my day and it's hard for me not to want to browse the web every hour during the day to see what's new.
Political ads are already here
I know Obama and Romney have already started airing ads in the US and I've seen many of these online, but the reality of the upcoming presidential election hasn't hit me until today, when I reached my parent's home in Denver and saw at least 10 political advertisements on TV in the span of an hour. Turns out Colorado is currently 4th in the nation in number of political advertisements aired.
It's good to be home
No matter 'how in love' I am with China or enjoy living there, it's always good to come home.