There are many books, articles and blogs out there that discuss culture shock. The experience of moving into a different culture; but what of coming home? What about the culture shock one feels when returning to the culture they originally come from?
I was warned before I left for Taiwan that I would experience culture shock upon returning to the U.S., but it was hard at the time to imagine what could possibly seem foreign to me. I have been back in the U.S. now for 47 hours and it is weird.In some respects I feel like I am home because I am staying with my family. My family always feels like home to me. In other respects, however, I feel like a foreigner.
I woke up in my aunt’s house in the middle of night last night still jet lagged and hungry for lunch. As I slowly walked from the spare bedroom to the kitchen I was amazed at how spacious her house was. Now, I consciously recognize that by American standards this house is average in size, not big; but it felt like a journey to get all the way from the bedroom to the kitchen.
The temperature also feels not quite right. To start with, I have actually gotten used to using Celsius, which I never thought I would. When I Skyped with a friend from Taipei yesterday and told her that is was 23° she agreed that it was cold. That very day, when I went to campus, I passed by people wearing shorts and tee-shirts...because it is 73° Fahrenheit! It is nice out by Wisconsin standards. Meanwhile, it still feels like winter to me.