Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reverse Culture Shock

We have been back in America for a week and it is so funny how as much as I have travelled and transitioned from culture to culture over the years, I am still surprised when I experience culture shock. As much as I missed the "American" way while living in South Africa, I realize that I had adapted to the South African way more than I realized.

While doing laundry, I find myself asking, "Why is the (tumble) dryer SO big??"

While planning meals, I find myself confounded on what I used to make here, which spices I need, and how to budget in dollars.

While interacting with people, the realization that for me and Arno, being from two different cultures, means one of us is ALWAYS different and doesn't "quite" blend in. Now Arno is wearing that hat....

....and more things that are still revealing themselves to me.

Reverse culture shock is so very strange. How can you forget the culture that you grew up in --well, sort of grew up in -- the culture of my family, at the very least, the culture that I lived in for 10 years before moving away?

It is quite the phenomenon that as hard as it is to adjust, once you do, you are different, changed -- for LIFE!!

So again the transitions come.....

Have you experienced culture shock travelling overseas or even coming back home? What are some things that you have done to help yourself adjust?




5 comments:

LoneWolf48 said... Best Blogger Tips

Having never traveled beyond the shores of the USA, I haven't experienced the culture shock you describe. I have experienced regional culture shock. I found the people of Tennessee and South Carolina to generally be more friendly than the folks of my Delmarva. Of course, you have to love their accents. Sometimes, though, I thought the Civil War had never ended for my Southern friends. I was considered a Yankee. Then again, one only has to travel to Crisfield to experience a different culture from that of Salisbury.

Margaret Almon said... Best Blogger Tips

I moved from Canada to the US 25 years ago, and never thought I could feel at home here, but now it is my home, and going to Canada feels familiar yet not. My sister is now moving for the second time, from the US to South Africa!

Lindsey V said... Best Blogger Tips

Lone Wolf -- it is SO true about even living in other parts of America. While SOME things are intrinsically American, there are others that are VERY different when you move from area to area. I also experienced this living in Tulsa in college.

Margaret -- I commented on your page, but I am interested to hear more about what your sister will be doing in South Africa.

Margaret Almon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Lindsey,
My Sister will be teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language. She just got her PhD in the subject, and I am very proud of her!

Thanks for stopping by my page!

Margaret Almon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Lindsey,
My Sister will be teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language. She just got her PhD in the subject, and I am very proud of her!

Thanks for stopping by my page!

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