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Reverse Culture Shock: When You Go Home
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 8:28 am    Post subject: Reverse Culture Shock: When You Go Home Reply with quote

I wonder if this has been posted before...my apologies if it has.

I am home now....that is "HOME home" in America, for the next week or so, and have found that I have brought back a little of Korea with me:

I bow to everyone I meet.
I throw around prices and salary figures in won, as if I am expecting my family and friends to know what the hell I am talking about.
I leave my shoes RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR...and I feel somewhat weird leaving them on in the house.
I can't finish a 20 ounce bottle of Coke in one sitting cause it seems too damn big.

But conversely, one of my friends whom I haven't seen in like well over 4 years was shocked I didn't come home with a Korean accent (snicker).

I also went to a bakery a friend of mine really likes and just gorged myself on the samples of 12 kinds of cheese they left on a tray. Embarassed

Anyone else have something like this happen to you?
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:32 am    Post subject: Hi Reply with quote

Hi Katy, how is the camera?

I'm in the USA right now too. I go back next week. I am anxious to get back.

For me, it was seeing HUGE people walking around. Also noticing how much meat my family eats in a week. It almost made me sick at first. And we hit 3 buffets in one week -- that was strange.

I've been to the Korean restaurant 4 times, and realized how much I stink after eating Kimchi and Bi Bim Bap.

The air is a lot cleaner.

I, too, take off my shoes when at home now. And seeing others walk around inside with them on seems .... well.... a little cro-magnon. hahaaaa
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been back in the US since March 8, and well, I'm bored. I now believe that while the US is good for MAKING a living, Asia is better for actually LIVING. I find Americans rather uptight, anal about their private space and so on. And uh, rare is the stranger who buys dinner and drinks for you like they do in Korea.

Plus, dating in the US is harsh. It seems most of the good people are all taken, leaving only the issue-riddled, ten ton-weighing peeps left. UGH!
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaya wrote:
Plus, dating in the US is harsh. It seems most of the good people are all taken, leaving only the issue-riddled, ten ton-weighing peeps left. UGH!


UGH back....man, the reason why Koreans don't seem issue riddled is because they probably don't want to share with you all their problems...that is, if they CAN speak English fine in the first place.
And while yes, I find myself looking at people here going "Wow, people here are much bigger," you can't say everyone that is American is fat.
If you are liking Korea better than America for the dating, you MUST be a guy... Wink
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Homer
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After going home for a few weeks this spring I have to say the biggest shock is the appaling number of obese people you see. It is getting out of control. These were not just older people or even people my age. These were also kids....this is symptomatic of the north american way of life.
Also, people are not as kind to each other back home in everyday life.
And there is a pervading fear of strangers too.
Of course its not all bad. I did enjoy watching soem hockey and meeting some old friends. The lesser levels of pollution too.
But, overall, I have to agree that asia seems like a better place for living. Thats just my take on it of course.
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ulsanchris



Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Location: take a wild guess

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:01 pm    Post subject: hmm Reply with quote

I got the reverse culture shock thing when i returned home last year. First for a weeks visit for a friends wedding and again when i finished my contract. I felt completely out of place. I felt stranger than I had when i first arrived in korea. Funny enough i was depressed when i first got back home. I had thought that I would be so happy. I felt out of synch with my family and friends. I was disgusted by so many of the things i saw around me. I noticed just how fat people are back home. It took me a long time to get used to being home.
I really missed the amount of money i could spend every month here and still save a lot.
The one thing that made me glad to be back home was to be on the mountians of BC. back in the countryside with fresh air and beautiful tree covered mountians that aren't shrouded with a cloak of pollution.
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

katydid wrote:
Yaya wrote:
Plus, dating in the US is harsh. It seems most of the good people are all taken, leaving only the issue-riddled, ten ton-weighing peeps left. UGH!


UGH back....man, the reason why Koreans don't seem issue riddled is because they probably don't want to share with you all their problems...that is, if they CAN speak English fine in the first place.
And while yes, I find myself looking at people here going "Wow, people here are much bigger," you can't say everyone that is American is fat.
If you are liking Korea better than America for the dating, you MUST be a guy... Wink


Yes, I'm a guy but haven't you seen the stats? A whopping 55% of Americans are overweight and of that figure, 20% are obese.

No exaggeration on the obese issue AT ALL.
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gang ah jee



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: city of paper

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

UGH back....man, the reason why Koreans don't seem issue riddled is because they probably don't want to share with you all their problems...that is, if they CAN speak English fine in the first place.


to an extent, sure... but the west has developed a massive industry based around ENCOURAGING people to have problems. DR PHIL! i can't help thinking westerners talk too much about some things.

me, back in NZ

walking down to the train station then realising that, no, the next train wouldn't be there in two minutes. It would be there in 45 minutes.

taking my US bought laptop (bought off an american here) to the electronics shop and being asked 'How do you like New Zealand?'

Having my shoes stolen because i left them outside the front door

getting really annoyed by having to listen to people's conversations in restaurants, on the bus, in the supermarket, etc... NZ people talk rubbish so much of the time

first time i went back i was pretty jet-lagged (not time difference, just can't sleep on planes) and felt completely agoraphobic. i couldn't go outside because it felt like there was nothing there. I had to move into inner city as soon as possible.

had completely forgotten what it's like to feel unsafe outside one's home in the daytime.
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chandler bing



Joined: 04 May 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GAG,

Do you actually think Korea is safe?
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gang ah jee



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: city of paper

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chandler bing wrote:
GAG,

Do you actually think Korea is safe?


random physical violence: safer than New Zealand

nuclear annihilation: more dangerous than New Zealand


perceptions of safety are relative. i'm not saying that korea's perfectly safe. I just don't walk down the street here worrying that someone might want to take my MD player.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went back and thought, "Jesus, you guys are all hate filled piles of pooh."

Thankfully, a life of dealing with these guys has enabled me with the skills to be the meanest SOB here. Wink
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Trinny



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

,

Your post made my day. I read it to my hubby and he laughed his heart out. It will be interesting to see how I feel when I go back to Korea for a visit next month. I will keep you guys posted. Very Happy
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, two more observations: I think the fod portions here are waaaaaaaaaay too big. I went out for ice cream tonight with a good friend of mine and ordered a small cone....cone arrived with a scoop of ice cream on it that looked it had been lifted out of the tub with a bricklayer's trowel...almost didn't finish it, but I did. Embarassed
Also, have realized I have to REALLY watch what I am saying out loud to my friends, because, you know, the luxury of being able to speak English and having very few people understand what you are saying just doesn't exist in America!
I want to know if anyone has any good loose lips stories to share...where they were caught saying something they could certainly get away with in Korea but not back home. At the ice cream shop, there is this thing called Cruise Night where people with antique cars drive to the ice cream shop and show their cars off. Well, one of the guys with his "Beetle-bike" contraption was dressed in leather and looked like one of the Village People, and I almost (within earshot of said guy, naturally) told my friend that. Had to think for a moment about where I was....
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(BTW I agree that you have to be careful what you say. Some Koreans do understand English well.)

My reverse culture shock consisted of:

    1. Thinking people looked so big.
    2. Musing at some of the crazy hairstyles (curls and too much hairspray) in my hometown (I guess I thought the 80s look would be gone by the time I got back.)
    3. Thinking that American people really complain a lot! (The good thing about spending time here is that I won't have so much of a shock when I go back this time Wink )
    4. Being surprised to really notice the 'Biggie Fries, Big Gulp, Super-Size, and 20 oz. Coke' culture.
    5. Going into bookstores and having so much to choose from.
    6. Seeing all the toys that American kids had compared to Korean kids.
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Cabbit



Joined: 19 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_____, that was awesome!!

Im flying home on Friday and (I hope you dont mind) I sent your musings on to my family.....very funny. I'm lucky that my family have always taken their shoes off in the house so that wont be weird. But I am dreading hearing all the English. I have been in the country for a while and last night in Seoul, trying to read the paper in a cafe, 2 people were speaking English at another table and I couldnt help but listen.....I think that will be the most overwhelming thing when I get home.

Thanks again ____
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