There is only one word to describe this other world: DIVERSITY
It only took five years inside the Utah County bubble to forget what the word meant. In case you forgot too, I'll remind you:
People with all shades of brown hair and skin are EVERYWHERE.
I was a minority. And surprisingly, I loved it.
Walking around JFK airport my blonde locks stood out. So did my Utah clothes. I was different...and so was everyone else (irony?). I felt beautiful (and trust me ladies, this is an accomplishment after 24+ hours of standby anxiety).
I boarded a cruise ship and things just got better. I would say that 95% of the 4000 passengers were of African American descent (am I allowed to say "black"? I'm still not sure about what's PC. Someone help me out here. Remember, I'm deprived of diversity and have no one of authority to ask.). I only saw two women with platinum blonde hair over the course of 10 days. I exaggerate a lot, but I swear on the translucency of my skin--this is not one of those times. I think the whole state of New Jersey up and took a cruise with a few natives from Barbados to provide genuine Caribbean authenticity. They were generous enough to let us poor pale sun starved outsiders along for the ride.
I'm sure if I had to live with being in the 5% minority I would feel less pleased and probably less beautiful. But boy-oh-boy was it nice to escape the homogeneity of Utah.