Opinion / Blog

Reverse culture shock

By kellivschina (blog.chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-09-25 14:31

Reverse culture shock

Before returning home to the US this summer, people warned me I might experience "reverse culture shock". I didn' t have any terrible experiences, but they were right! After living in China for a year there were things about home that surprised me:

-- I found myself always talking way louder than I should have. I guess I’ve gotten used to shouting over the dozens of people that surround me at any given moment in China. People were also shushing me in public places.

-- I forgot that other people could speak English. I know it’s a terrible habit, but I really did develop the practice of talking about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, with my English-speaking friends. After all, most of the people walking by can’t understand you, right? Unfortunately in America, if you say something like, “Whoa, look at that guy’s hair!”, chances are he will definitely understand what you’re saying.

-- I cringed at the price of my phone bill. Really, America? Why does phone service cost so much? I got used to China's “pay as you go” prices.

-- I was appalled at the lack of public transportation. This one really did kill me. I love China’s public transportation system. I could live here for 10 years and never buy a car and still get everywhere I needed to go. This summer I kept having to ask people for rides. It was terribly annoying.

Finally, the biggest shock came when I started watching a bit of TV. As I watched American celebrities and politicians, I began to understand why people from other countries make fun of mine. I watched just a few minutes of the VMAs (Video Music Awards) and I was so embarrassed that these celebrities are the way that Americans are represented to the rest of the world! From what they were wearing (or not wearing) to what they were saying, they were completely out of control. Add that to the comments made by certain presidential candidates and it’s little wonder why the US is often laughed at around the world.  


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