Acculturation Anxiety

culture shock: a condition of disorientation affecting someone who is suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar culture or way of life or set of attitudes

so California culture shock has materialized, and I’m indeed feeling disoriented. some reasons why:

  • local San Diego newspaper advertisements read, “Get 1 free gram- Text 420 to ###-####.”
  • at my local trader joe’s, most customers walk around in bikinis and wet suits. some do not wear shoes (and it’s not because they are homeless).
  • the number of grown men and women wearing neon-colored wayfarers is kind of disturbing.
  • is it really ALWAYS this sunny and bright?

oddly, i am still suffering from some Kenya-U.S.A. culture transitions:

  • I can’t handle ice. even cold water offends my body. all liquids and food need to be body temperature.
  • I keep waiting for the electricity to go out but it NEVER does.
  • I still don’t trust water from the faucet (the water in my Kisumu apartment ran yellow and tasted like dirty metal).

is this normal?

for those of you who have gone abroad and come back again, did you experience culture shock? tell me about it! also, what did you appreciate about home and what did you realize you could live without?

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