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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5 thoughts on “Acculturation Anxiety

  1. Yes, I had that shock when I came back to Vietnam in 1996, even i was born and lived in the US for 23 yrs. I felt sorry for people there didn’t have the opportunity like us in the USA, and I appreciate more for what ever I have. WATER is the biggest blessing, that we can drink water at any faucet, fountain….I will tell you more when I come back from my trip to India (worse than Vietnam and China).

    • you’re right! i’ll take water from a faucet over having to walk 10 kilometers to fetch a bucket of dirty water and then balance it on my head all of the way home any day! stay safe in India, momma. you and dad are such adventure seekers… now i know where i got the travel bug from! 🙂

  2. okay, 2 questions….
    isn’t the pacific ocean REALLY cold? And what the hell is a wayfarer?!? Welcome back to the U.S. We’re glad you’re back even if America is a bit awkward…. 🙂

    • i haven’t even put one toe in the ocean yet, so i don’t know the temperature! but i hear it’s cold. wayfarer sunglasses are a trend (like crocs) that i never took to… google image them for a look! and thanks for the welcome back… nothing like the good ol’ USA (hell yeah!)

  3. Live in many places in the world. Including Kenya and I am still here.
    I miss being me without offending. I like my kind of good food which I calory up when I get it. When my curiousity madness stop I will be glad to be home.
    I have done three continenst and start to envy the dumb ass who never left home.
    Hopefully by year end I will join them with lots of memory I wish to forget.
    I want to rock in a chair by a front porch and look at the adventurers who think that grass is greener on the other side. They won’t believe what I know. I’ll wait, I will be on my front porch when they come back.
    “Told you so!”
    Cheers

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