Not Again! Reverse Culture Shock

First Barney Plush

First Barney Plush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reverse Culture Shock occurs when you return to your home country after living abroad.  If you’ve been away for a sustained period, things will have changed (including yourself).  You have adapted (sometimes kicking and screaming) to another culture.

Depending on how long you’ve been away, you may find that many things have changed.  You don’t expect that things have changed so much.  You definitely don’t appreciate the depth of your change either.  The first time I experienced Reverse Culture Shock was when I returned to the US after a year as an exchange student in high school.  I came back and there was a lot I didn’t know.

Barney had hit and I just couldn’t understand the fuss about a purple dinosaur.  RuPaul is another example.  I didn’t know he wasn’t in drag.  I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that he wasn’t a woman.  In the pre-internet early 90’s, I didn’t know any of the songs on the radio and didn’t have the slightest clue who he was.  I felt like  a foreigner in my own country.

The longer you’ve been away and the more you embraced the habits and customs of a new culture, the more likely you won’t feel at ease, relaxed or comfortable in your country of origin.   It’s only natural the tour experiences changed you and re-entry can be difficult.  Sometimes, people find it impossible to readapt to their home country after living abroad for a number of years.  Others have seen RuPaul’s Drag Race and now understand.

A Little Bit of Love

A Little Bit of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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What Will I Learn Next Week in German Class?

Americans are not known for their facility with foreign languages. Yesterday, I reached a new low in my quest to learn other languages. I had my first German lesson…ever. My teacher is very nice, but was surprised to learn that I knew no German. He asked me if I knew any words in German. My head has been full of French lately and all I could pull out was auf Wiedersehen (thank you Heidi Klum and Project Runway). He said, “surely you must know other German words.” I have watched a movie or two in my day and promptly pulled out the German word for what you do in the bathroom. He laughed and promptly taught me how to turn it into a verb! I think we are off to a good start.





 

Dear Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,

Thank you for all of the good times over the past nine years.  We will miss you. As we sit here at the airport(frantically taking care of last minute details), we are afraid to think too much about leaving you.  We worry that if we do, we will start crying and fall apart.  Hopefully we will see you again soon.

Love,

Us