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Reverse Culture Shock

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


Rule # 32: Enjoy the little things…

(I will award you ten incredibly real “Dash bucks” if you are the first person to tell me where this reference comes from.)

Did you know?

  • Toilets in America are slightly shorter, and not as wide.
  • Water comes out of the tap a lot faster in America than it does in Japan.
  • My old cell phone’s screen is about 1/3 the size of my phone in Japan.
  • You never appreciate *not* understanding all of the conversations in a country until you come home and hear all of the ridiculous and mundane conversations you hear when you are standing in line at a department store.

All of these examples are from my own personal life, and may differ depending on your experience, but what I’m trying to highlight is that it’s the little things that you notice the most when you come back home after a few months in a foreign country.

Sure, people here are fatter. Sure, the service in stores is not quite as good. All those main things are noticed, but they are things you prepare yourself for when you are coming back. You never expect the little things though. The crazy part of it is I’ve only been gone for four months! You so quickly adjust to life in a foreign country you entirely forget the small things you normally take for granted.

Now, culture shock I think can come in two different flavors. It can evoke feelings of despair: “Oh my God, I want to go back!!!” or it can evoke a feeling of “Huh, interesting.” Perhaps a third flavor would be: “Thank God I am home!” but then we can’t really call it “reverse culture shock,” can we? I’ve never been much of a “despair” kind of person, so this trip back has really been a “huh, interesting” kind of experience. Indeed, the faucets at home, the toilets, the cell phones, the complete understanding, these are the little things I’ve found fascinating since being home. Fairly mundane…

I’ll continue to update this post as I come across more things that I would never think would be different, but in fact are.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Categories: Pre-Japan
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