Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coming Home or Leaving Home?

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.


  1. hi Toddy here, nice update

  2. Hi Todd! Thanks :)
    So did you have any of the going home culture shock? Are you and CoCoSan cold?