Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reverse Culture Shock

We are having fun noticing the differences in American life and our Jamaican life.  The princesses are adjusting back really well.

You Know You're From the Missionfield when...
1. The question,  "Where are you from?" always makes you stop and think how to answer.  I have to decide how much I want to explain to the person.  
2. You don't think two hours is a long sermon.  Funny how long sermons over there don't make me drowsy at all, but a/c is soooo  comfortable!
3. You consider haggling with the checkout girl for a lower price.
4. Fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal to you.
5. You're grateful every time you find a public restroom...and then even more grateful when it's clean.
6. Drinkable tap water is amazing to you.
7. You keep forgetting that it doesn't matter what time of the day or weather you do laundry...they have dryers here.
8. Hot showers....wow it's been awhile!
9. Just the simple thing...like checking out in Walmart is intimidating.  Can I still add US money in my head?  And putting gas in a vehicle....scary.
10. You cringe when you're at a restaurant and see people THROWING AWAY food.
11. You don't recognize any song on the radio.
12. You have to think before you speak.  Certain topics or statements are a big Taboo here.
13. Bumper to bumper traffic at 90 miles an hour doesn't even faze you.  There's no real excitement until there is a deathly sharp cliff a few inches from the tire!
14. You have to explain to your children what a dishwasher is.
15. It feels like everyone around you is extremely busy all the time, and people here walk really fast.

4 comments:

missionarymomma said...

Oh, I loved this post. I remember much of the same thing when we returned. Our children thought everyone was fat. We also nticed the flag a lot. The throwing away fod was so sad for us, but until I read yur sight I realize that we have in many ways grown acustomed to that. I needed this reminder.

Ruth H. said...

I have to tell you about my own reverse-culture-shock incident...
Disclaimer: I was also back in the States to have our youngest, Abigail, so I had some of those really weird pregnancy hormones stuff going on. Can you say "emotional overload"?
Ok, so I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some BBQ sauce for my mom. I was quick to volunteer for this job because it would only be my second time in Wal-Mart since arriving back in the States and the first time in had been just a quick run in to grab baby wipes ;)
Anyway, so I found the BBC sauce aisle and I'm standing there looking over all of my options. I was absolutely amazed at the sheer number of types of BBQ sauce. I mean, here we have maybe three and that is only if the truck just ran and you get there before everyone else! Abe walks up to me and says "what are you waiting for, just grab one". I burst into tears and there is my husband looking at me like I have just gone over the edge mentally. I started laughing in the middle of the tears and tried to explain that it was just too much for me. When we arrived back at my parent's place he took one look at Mom and said "don't ever send a pregnant woman who has just come back to the States to pick out a sauce for you". Mom gives me a look like "what in the world?". Now we have a good laugh about the day the BBQ sauce whipped me = LOL!!!
Loved this post, hope you are having a really great time with your folks and traveling. - Ruth Hanson

raising3princesses said...

Thank you so much ladies!
Ruth, that is so true about the emotional drama! I clearly understand completely! I LOVED that story.

Jeanie said...

I LOVED this post, Maria! It's so true and there is no way even your family can understand it. I remember our first furlough and Walt and I walked into a big grocery store in St. Louis. I couldn't even remember what we needed! All we could do was stare in amazement. (We also drew a lot of stares ;) but who cared) I don't remember if we bought anything or not - - - it was just one big blur and all we could say was WOW!!!!!

P.S. The bakery was the biggest draw!!! So awesome!

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