Reverse Culture Shock!

Posted by Jill,

After 24 hours of travel (including 3 flights and one car ride) we arrived home Monday afternoon from Beijing!  The kids and I arrived safe and sound, with few incidents, and are very grateful.  The kids are excited to be here at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving, and we’re working on overcoming jet lag.  We’ve already played outside, run barefoot, baked cookies, etc.  Life is good!

It’s amazing what you forget, or get used to, after 2 years in a foreign country.  We’ve been back in the States for just over 24 hours and here are a few of the things we’ve already been surprised by, or reminded of:

  • English!
  • customer service!
  • napkins in a restaurant!
  • free refills!
  • ice in our cups!
  • clean bathrooms!
  • clean grass!
  • clear skies!
  • drinkable tap water!
  • soft, squishy beds!
  • flushing toilet paper!
  • cooking spray!
  • regular sized ovens!
  • big baking pans!
  • enormous cars!
  • enormous shopping carts!
  • big people (meaning tall and …uh…big)

And “the walk.”  I couldn’t list this without explanation.  Many Americans (youngish males in particular) have a “walk.”  Some would call it a strut.  It bugs me.  Anyway, I noticed it when I was at the store today.  It’s interesting how culture permeates everything, even down to the way we carry ourselves.

And for those who haven’t been to China it might be good to clarify a few others items on the list.  About the napkins, there are “napkins” in the restaurants in China, but they’re really just tissues.  Thin, flimsy, tissues.  I never did find regular napkins in the stores in China.  And “clean grass” means grass without human excrement.

Well, that’s all for now folks.  :)

- Jill

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