I traveled back to the US for a few weeks this fall and had sincere encounters with reverse culture shock! I’ve been living abroad for over 2 1/2 years now (how time flies!). And it was over a year since I had been back to the US. I’m keeping this post straightforward — so here goes my list of shocks:
- Americans are (physically) large
- Public transport is used to move people only, not luggage and other belongings
- Grocery store shopping basket do not belong on the conveyer belt
- Grocery stores have an insane amount of variety
- You can now call a cab with your smartphone app!
- The question “where are you from?” is difficult to answer
- Tipping is required in restaurants
- Restaurant portion sizes are much more than people actually need to eat
- People are actually nice and friendly!
- I have now become accustom to certain technology expectations and the cell phone reception in the US still has dead zones
- The US airport has a lack of efficiency (especially compared to Hong Kong)
- Restaurant staff and service people think outside box, there is something called customer service
- Americans speak loudly
- Everything is just bigger.
After 3 1/2 weeks in the US to visit family and friends, travelling to multiple cities, I easily adjusted back to HK life! Yet, I still remember my 1st struggle of moving to Asia. Perhaps I really am making a new home for myself.. :)
What about you? Anyone out there have other things to add to this list when they encountered [reverse] culture shock? How do you cope?