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culture shock

I will be back in the U.S. in a little over a month. I won’t be staying there long, mind you, two or three months at the most. But still, I am having mixed feelings about going back ‘home.’ Allow me to make a list of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ about returning to the land of the free and home of the brave after one year’s absence.

Good Things about returning to the U.S.

1. I will be able to actually flush toilet paper down the toilet. No more T.P. trash can!

2. I will be able to drink tap water.

3. I will understand the conversations of everyone around me because I KNOW ENGLISH!

4. I will be able to consume limitless dairy products.

5. When I take a shower, the hot water supply will seem endless.

6. I can take a shower EVERY DAY!

7. I can change clothes more than once per week!

8. I get to spend time with my family.

9. I get to see some old friends.

10. I won’t be a first grade teacher anymore.

Bad Things about returning to the U.S.

1. Transportation is not possible without a car.

2. Clothes, food, movies, EVERYTHING is going to seem really expensive.

3. I don’t want people to ask me generic questions such as, “So, how was China?”

4. Really, I don’t want to talk about it at all unless I know someone is genuinely interested and not just making conversation.

5. I will miss my students and colleagues.

6. I won’t be a first grade teacher anymore.

7. There are some friends who I don’t think I want to spend time with. They are making bad choices with their life course and it makes me sad to even think about it.

8. I am afraid that people won’t understand me anymore. My values, my sense of humor, and why I choose a life of culture and/or service rather than a life of riches. Not that I have riches at my disposal, just that I could be earning more money at a different job.

9. I worry that we will be very busy going around and ‘seeing everybody’, and Nick and I won’t have time to spend together.

10. I just know that the goodbyes will be hard when it comes time to leave my school.

11. There is a long plane flight involved that I don’t look forward to.

12. When in a public place, I won’t be able to have a private conversation with my friends, because EVERYONE KNOWS ENGLISH!

Help me through it.


Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 3:36 PM

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