March 12th, 2009 | | By Ken Mankoff
The first 24 hours home were a bit more difficult this time. Perhaps because last year I was on a base with 1,000 people, and this year I was working the night shift on a boat with three people.
The first thing I noticed was the smell. There is not much smell in the cold of Antarctica. New York City has a faint smell of what I think is chlorine. A felt a bit like my dog, who lives in the country with my parents but goes crazy when he visits me because there are so many smells here.
After adjusting to the smell, the next thing I noticed were the sounds. I could hear dozens if not hundreds of conversations at once while standing on a street corner. It was overwhelming and I went back inside.
After about 24 hours all has returned to normal and not even a crowded subway bothers me. At least, not anymore than it did before I left.