Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Culture Shock






You wouldn’t think I’d experience culture shock when “vacationing” in my native country, but – ladies and gents – it has happened. There have been several, and I do mean several, moments in which I realize I’ve completely adapted to European living. It may very well be that as soon as things here start to seem normal again, it will be time to head on back. I suppose life just works like that!

This week’s “Culture Shock” moments:
-At In-n-out Burger-
Me: What?! I can have as much ketchup as I want? And you won’t charge me? Are you serious? This country!

- Mom tells me to get the whipped cream out of the fridge, and I spend five minutes looking for a jar of cream that we can whip into whipped cream ourselves (like they do in Germany)
Mom: You know whipped cream comes in a can here, right? Right there, in front of your face.
Me: oh.

-Bumps into person at super market -
Me: Entschuldigung! Oops – I, uh, mean…excuse me.

Waiter: Can I get you something to drink?
Me: Yes, I would like water because this is America and it’s free here.

-groan in frustration-
Brother: What??
Me: I can’t remember how to use American can openers!

-repeatedly searches for the bathroom light switch OUTSIDE of the bathroom, as is customary in Europe-

-automatically touches the wall above the toilet to flush before realizing American toilets don’t work like that-

-Feels toasty warm and happy when everyone around me is wearing jackets and shivering-


Friend: Ugh, the traffic to L.A. is going to be so annoying.
Me: Well can we take the train?
Friend: –Stares at me like I’m crazy-
Me. Oh. Right.

-driving down the street with friends-
Friend: –stares at me like I’m crazy-
Me: Oh. Right.



Maria said...

Haha, it sounds like you're enjoying home so far!

Laurie said...

this made me laugh! hope you enjoy your "vacation" at "home"


Sue said...

I sometimes feel a "culture shock" when I watch movies. I've finally gotten used to driving in Japan (on the left side of the road) and then I'll see someone in a movie on the right side... it throws me off for a minute!

Your culture shocks made me laugh :)

San said...

Ha! That made me laugh. :)

Noelani said...

lol, aw. i hope you enjoy your time back :)

Karm said...

hahah I laughed like crazy on this.
Ok so on the other side of the sea/ocean, has someone ever turned the lights off on you when you were in the bathroom? since the light switch is outside the bathroom? I have a closet like that and everytime I am in there one of my sons likes to turn it off for fun... haha I would hate it to happen if I were in the bathroom... haha (:

Along Abbey Road said...

Haha... this had me laughing.

I remember how astonished I was when we went to Spain that there was NO fast food. The only place was in Gibraltar, which is owned by the English and two meals from Burger King cost £27! No thanks.

Along Abbey Road

Nikki @ The Ginger Diaries said...

hahahaha, yes, I think I must start preparing fo the culture shock I'll be getting when In overseas as well. America seems like such a crazy country to us Europeans. Who knows what they think of us, haha. But at my place the lights are INSIDE a room, and not out, hihi. x

Gabriella said...

I totally suffer bits of culture shock when I'm only gone for a few weeks, it must be crazy coming back after living in a different country!

Gorgeous photos!


Kym ((bitty)) said...

what a hilarious and somehow worrisome post. i'm planning to move to switzerland with my boyfriend in the near future and now in addition to fearing all of the strange things i'm unaccustomed to there, i worry i'll forget all about how life works here. oh well, it's all in the name of adventure, i suppose!


Kylie said...

1. I LOVE your new blog design! So clean and fresh :)
2. Some of these things are what's good about America...others indicate what's wrong (ie: fast food restaurants. Haha! Gotta love 'em though...):P

becca said...

Wow, that sounds frustrating but funny at the same time!
Love the stories :)

Alex Butts said...

hahahahha gotta love it - so understand the toilet flushing thing and the bathroom light switch. just when i get used to it im going to be at home and messing things up

The Adventurer said...

I love this hahaha, welcome back friend!!

Megan said...

omg the lights outside the bathrooms..WHY EUROPE??

im just excited for the american bathrooms in which OUTLETS are INSIDE them.

rach said...

Oh I've been just right there with the culture shock! Ive been home twice since I moved over seas and the first time wasn't too bad (minus the trying to readjust my mind to driving on the right side of the road again...) but this last time was a lot weirder! in a very embaressing moment I realized that I had forgotten how to count the change!! figuring out 37 cents was a real struggle! I mean I counted american change for 25 years and Euros for 2 years...what the what is going on with my brain!! Also....all the ketchup you want....ahhh what a luxury....I MISS America!

Emma Frances said...

That is really funny! And awesome! I need to visit Europe so I can experience the opposite of all of these! There are so many little things we don't realize are different for other people!!

Mel said...

Haha! Love this! especially the Entschuldigung and the problem with the flushing!!! that will so happen to me when I'm back there some time.

I'm still jealous....I want to go visit the states too. Hope you have an awesome trip girl!

Mimi Finerty said...

Hahaha. I get this feeling of confusion everytime i go back to London. I know live in Cyprus where you can drink tap water, you cant put paper down the toilet they have a seriously lack of pavements and public transport. Everytime i go back to London I get so excited to go on the tube, order tap water in a restaurant and understand everything everyone says.

Im a newcomer to your blog. found it today and ive been reading all your posts from your archive ever since! its fantastic!!

Annie said...

Hahaha! Sometimes the first thing I think to say to people when I bump into them is "permiso" {Spanish} instead of "excuse me." I've never lived in a Spanish-speaking country, either, although Spanish was my first language and I'm still conversational {but not fluent by any means}. And of all the places I've traveled and lived, the one place I've had culture shock is in my own state, on the opposite side from where I live, so I totally get the whole culture shock in America thing!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i can relate to all of these!!! especially saying "entschuldigung" at the grocery store.


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