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Dealing with reverse culture shock
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11407
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Chinese don't seem to get this kind of sarcasm. Laughing

As far as eating out goes, I simply have to cook for myself or go to good places. No street food and no mom n' pops. I just don't want to risk it. Food quality and cleanliness standards are a real issue here.

FYI: The topic is about reverse culture shock -- readjusting to the cultural context of your home country.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11515
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. I spend a couple of months in North America every year, and I experience some culture shock. We've done quite a lot to minimize it, though (mostly through luck in terms of work and partly through being very careful where we have located ourselves). Urban seems to work better in our case as opposed to suburban or rural.

For example, I don't have to join the automobile commuting rat-race as I work from home when I'm there. I'd explode very soon if I had to drive daily; the road rage I built up over my last 10 years in the US (back in the 1990s) has never really gone away. We have a car, of course, but it's primarily for weekend trips outside the city. We've got tram and bus connections, and a great cycling path to the city centre just outside our place, so little real need to take a car into the city.

I also really hate the over-packaging and giant portions of everything in supermarkets and other stores, but we can easily walk to our local supermarket so at least we don't have to shop weekly in bulk using the car like many North Americans. I never learned how to effectively minimize waste when I am forced to shop in bulk.

'Our' city is extremely international, so no need to miss diversity, thankfully. And since I'm not there full-time, my friends are still at least mildly interested in the stuff I'm doing abroad:-)

I think the culture shock is a bit easier for me to handle because I always know I am returning to Europe soon - it's temporary every time, in my case...

I don't think I could ever move back to N. Am permanently; we've built up our roots abroad - thankfully unless something totally unforeseen happens, I won't have to. I guess that my situation isn't that common, though it's certainly attainable for those who choose to pursue it!
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bigdurian



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 401
Location: Flashing my lights right behind you!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People who talk about reverse culture shock are full of [email protected] imo.

My mum often asks me if it feels strange being back after a stint in some hole. I always tell her the same thing. It's great, everyone speaks English, no one is trying to rip me off, I know the price of everything, public transport works, I get good service, it's clean, people are polite, there's one price for everyone........I could go on.....

What's to adjust to. After so long as an expat, I just appreciate the west so much more, and I used to hate it.

People who can't adjust......ha.....Don't make me laugh!

What's to adjust to!

It's all good.
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bograt



Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
public transport works


I agree with everything you say except this bit. Coming from Korea to the UK is always shock regarding the efficiency of public transport.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11407
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigdurian wrote:
People who talk about reverse culture shock are full of [email protected] imo.

Reverse culture shock is real. Just because you contend you personally don't experience it doesn't make you better than others who do. Nor can you realistically expect us to share your same background, ethnicity, gender, unique life experiences/choices, cultural identity, values, interpersonal relationships, etc. We're not clones of each other (fortunately).

and bigdurian wrote:
My mum often asks me if it feels strange being back after a stint in some hole. I always tell her the same thing. It's great, everyone speaks English, no one is trying to rip me off, I know the price of everything, public transport works, I get good service, it's clean, people are polite, there's one price for everyone........I could go on.....

What's to adjust to. After so long as an expat, I just appreciate the west so much more, and I used to hate it.

If you don't believe that you go through reverse culture shock whenever you return home, then that's the norm for you. That said, comparing your expat life to that of your home culture and being critical of the differences is one aspect of reverse culture shock.
.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11407
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a nutsell, reverse culture shock is:

Quote:
The shock suffered by some people when they return home after a number of years overseas. This can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar.
....

The degree of reverse culture shock may be directly proportional to the length of time spent overseas, i.e. the longer the time spent abroad, the greater the shock factor upon the eventual return home. Another factor that may influence the magnitude of reverse culture shock is the extent of the difference in cultures between the expatriate's home country and the foreign country. The bigger the cultural difference, the greater the reverse culture shock likely upon return.

Source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/reverse-culture-shock.asp
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 1082
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some guy in my hometown thought I was a child molester for making the mistake of talking to his kids as I was passing their table in a fast food restaurant. I regret not thinking of calling him out for what I'm sure would've been his cowardice for refusing to take my advice to get witness contact details and accompany me to the police station to report the incident.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 742
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So many great posts here. I've been back 'home' for 3 years and have definitely not gotten over the reverse culture shock, re-adjusted, or been able to form a new life in the US. Reverse culture shock is really just something that becomes a part of you, for some of us at least.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 663

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigdurian wrote:
People who talk about reverse culture shock are full of [email protected] imo.

My mum often asks me if it feels strange being back after a stint in some hole. I always tell her the same thing. It's great, everyone speaks English, no one is trying to rip me off, I know the price of everything, public transport works, I get good service, it's clean, people are polite, there's one price for everyone........I could go on.....

What's to adjust to. After so long as an expat, I just appreciate the west so much more, and I used to hate it.


Reverse culture shock is real. Nomad Soul nailed it with her comments. Try to consider the overall situation outside of your own limited anecdotal experience. From the sound of it you were teaching in some backwater somewhere. Your experience might have been very different if you were teaching in, say, Singapore, or Tokyo or Hong Kong.
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Wayland



Joined: 08 Oct 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigdurian wrote:
People who talk about reverse culture shock are full of [email protected] imo.

My mum often asks me if it feels strange being back after a stint in some hole. I always tell her the same thing. It's great, everyone speaks English, no one is trying to rip me off, I know the price of everything, public transport works, I get good service, it's clean, people are polite, there's one price for everyone........I could go on.....

What's to adjust to. After so long as an expat, I just appreciate the west so much more, and I used to hate it.

People who can't adjust......ha.....Don't make me laugh!

What's to adjust to!

It's all good.


It sounds like you just have a severe case of culture shock. You idolize your own culture because you can't adjust to living in another culture.

People who experience reverse culture shock are those who are able to accept and embrace a new culture without all the negative feelings you're experiencing. So coming back to their home country experiences periods of adjustment.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15323

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming back to a television-dominated society where celebrities are more important than your neighbours can be tough. I just create my own little bubble and spend most of my time in there. I suppose this is how most people adjust to life in post-modern Kleptocapitalism !
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 648

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
post-modern Kleptocapitalism!


I like this phrase.

+1

twowheel
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Knedliki



Joined: 08 May 2015
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of people spend their whole lives hidden away in their bedrooms with their best friend the Internet.
Reverse culture shock or any kind of culture shock doesn't affect them, so long as the Internet doesn't crash!
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 669
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twowheel wrote:
scot47 wrote:
post-modern Kleptocapitalism!


I like this phrase.

+1

twowheel


Add another "like" to the phrase. Better copyright it, Mr Scot 47.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11407
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knedliki wrote:
A lot of people spend their whole lives hidden away in their bedrooms with their best friend the Internet.
Reverse culture shock or any kind of culture shock doesn't affect them, so long as the Internet doesn't crash!

Not so. They still have to interact with others in work and other day-to-day situations that expose them to environmental and cultural differences overseas and upon their return home.
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