My Overloaded Brain...On Culture Shock

12:05 AM

While I'm in S. Africa, I'm often asked, "What do you miss the most?" I always find it hard to answer and usually just say Starbuck's coffee. It's been almost a year since the kids and I were in the states, and I have to say my brain is on overload with all the choices! I mean it's crazy! Let's start with going to a restaurant. First you must decide what kind of food to eat. Then it's the decision of which restaurant to eat at. Too many choices!

And the grocery store! Oh, those grocery stores. I go up and down the aisles in awe of everything to choose from. Insane I tell you, at least for someone who hasn't had the many choices. But now that I'm back, I've realized the many familiar foods I've missed. Excuse me while I take a minute to highlight what I've missed...

big, soft, fluffy, pre-sliced bagels
bagels

extra sharp cheese on kashi crackers
cheese and crackers

orange juice with LOTS of pulp
orange juice

And I couldn't end this post without giving a shout out to high speed internet! I blink and it's loaded! And I can browse, look at pictures, watch videos, all without having to worry about how much data I'm using because it's unlimited!

It's such a weird feeling, all of this. Having culture shock in your home country. Feeling like we're driving on the wrong side of the road, thinking I'm lifting weights every time I pour from the HUGE milk jug...I never thought I would get un-used to things in my country!

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6 comments

  1. Thank you. I will remember your post the next time I can't find the brand I want. I'll try to be happy to have the choices that are presented. Sometimes we are such whiners. We have so much but yet we complain when we should thank God for all He's done for us.

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  2. Ha! It helps you know you're adjusting to your new home. I definitely did more to Europe.. five years can feel like a looong time!

    I missed: TORTILLA chips, reeces peanut butter cups, INSTANT pudding (glory help me) and beef jerkey....

    these are things I hardly EVER even eat at home... but once the option isn't there I become obsessed with them..

    And let's not forget Kraft macaroni and cheese.. it's funny what sticks out in your mind!!

    What you can't get in America?? Amazing yoghurt and beautiful atmosphere at unique restaurants (verses.. the 'chain'..ug).

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  3. I remember clearly when I first experienced reverse culture shock. We happily waltzed into a Super Wal-Mart to select a few basics, and my brain collapsed on the cereal aisle. I spent ages walking up and down the aisle, totally bewildered by the huge array of options! Everything, from milk to cat food, offered at our local grocery store in Cambridge could have fit in the shelf space of that one aisle.

    A funny thing about driving on the "other" side of the road: When we have visitors from America here in Perth, that is the only time I feel I'm on the wrong side of the road here. I guess they bring a little bit of America with them! :)

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  4. that reverse culture shock will get you every time!!! I remember standing in Walmart and just staring at the yogurt, cheese, and hot dogs! All this stuff I can't get in Indonesia, and there is a huge WALL full of it at Walmart! Crazy!

    Hope your states-side visit is going well. We go back for furlough in February and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the culture shock!!!

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  5. Weird, I miss good coffee, too, except that the good coffee I miss is South African coffee. Guess it depends what you mean by that. Same with good chocolate.
    And how come you can't find orange juice with pulp? Ooodles of oranges on sale, and hand juicers, machine juicers, the works. Just ask for 'Fresh Squeezed' and you'll have it hand-squeezed for you.
    Seems you just need to know where to go. Perhaps it would have helped to have a local as a tour guide. Pity they didn't know you missed such things, not hard to find. may even find bagels.

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