I was told that when I returned to the United States that I would experience “Reverse Culture Shock.” I was even sent a list of things to do to help this so-called shock.
Luckily for me, I flew into Miami from Madrid for 24 hours to visit my sister. It was a nice buffer because Miami feels like its own Hispanic country, not like a state in the US.
Also, it’s been crazy busy for me since I stepped off the plane so I didn’t have time to fight jet lag, stuff my face with all of the food I have missed, or enjoy the incredible humidity I forgot about.
The only culture shock I experienced was when I was on the plane from Miami to St. Louis. I was sitting in my seat in a row of 3 and I was waiting for the other two to sit down. A young man was walking down the aisle and he was looking at me and smiling. I assumed one of the seats next to me was his, so I questioningly pointed to the seat next to me and he laughed. He said, “No, that’s not mine.”
It took me a second to realize that he was just being nice and/or flirting. I have been living in a culture that no one looked at each other while walking. It took me a couple of days to look at people and smile. I wonder how b*#?+y I looked walking around Menards just looking at people he not smiling. I would like to apologize to all of the people not reading this post for not smiling back.
To be honest I didn’t experience a culture shock when I was back in the US. The only thing that felt different was seeing my family. I missed them so much and it didn’t seem real sitting with my sister and brother in law in Miami or playing with my nephew back home.
It’s also nice having a home with air conditioning, eating home grown peaches, eating homemade deer sticks, playing with my puppy dogs, seeing my friends and loved ones face to face rather than on FaceTime…the list goes on and on.
I wish I could say I came home to a peaceful place, I slept for days, and slowly got back to normal. In reality, the second I walked off the plane I had things to do and I still have a major to do list two weeks after.
Unfortunately, the GRE won’t take itself, my job won’t do itself, my room won’t clean itself, my books won’t buy themselves, my house won’t remodel itself…and the list goes on and on.
It feels great to be back! I can’t deny that. But it should be proof enough that I’ve been busy since it has taken me 2 weeks to write a small, boring post about the mythical “Reverse Culture Shock.”
I will leave you with this though:
Jet lag is a very, very real thing.