Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reverse Culture Shock

I went to bed at the correct time on Monday night after I got back in town, slept 10 hours, and woke up the next morning feeling better than expected.   My only complaint was this strange subtle headache.  I literally felt like I had a hangover or something, but I had not touched a drop in a while.  Is this normal?  I mean, do people get headaches instead of just being tired?  What a strange symptom of being jet lagged. 

I got it together, and sent Nat off to his first final.  I was nervous for him, but confident because he was more than ready for his test.  I spent the rest of the afternoon doing some errands.  I used my Groupon for Anytime Fitness and signed up for my three-month membership for $30.  Besides catching up on four different seasons of television and going to the gym, I really did not do much during the couple of weeks Nat was taking his finals.  I know I sound lazy, but traveling around the world in three months is not easy feat!  I really enjoyed taking my time acclimating back to my life in the US.  I would like to share my observations on reverse culture shock – what an individual experiences upon return to his/her country after an extended period of time. 

My symptoms of Reverse Culture Shock include:

  1. Amazement at my ability to order free iced water in any restaurant I walk into
  2. Disappointment because I do not have tea or coffee 4-5 times a day
  3. Being expected to listen and understand every word of every sentence uttered by every person I interact with
  4. Realization that driving like a Ukrainian and not wearing a seat belt is no longer cool
  5. Loneliness derived from the fact that all of my best friends do not live under one roof in a hostel anymore
  6.  Feelings of rejection when my American friends refuse my offering of tea or coffee when they come over
  7. Recognition that my short bangs are not high fashion anymore 

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