Sunday, December 22, 2013

Observations From America

Last Thursday we left our new homeland to come to America for 6-7 months. We'll celebrate some holidays and birthdays and welcome a new baby, heading back sometime mid-summer. Until then, though, we're soaking up all things Southern and American.

Hopefully in the next few weeks (after we're not living out of suitcases, crashing with my in-laws, and preparing for Christmas and a certain 2-year old's week-late birthday party) I'll have a bit more time to update the blog on the goings-on of the last month and the upcoming weeks. Until then, here are a few of my initial observations of America after being gone for nearly 3.5 years.

*Everything is big. Everything. Grocery store aisles, grocery store carts (both of my kids could sit in one and still have room for groceries. Huh?), roads, stoplights, cars, food packages, parking lots, homes, shopping malls, signs…everything. It's all big.
*Toilets have a lot of water in them.
*Toilet paper is very soft. Even the cheaper stuff in public places…definitely soft.
*There are so many choices for everything. For these initial purchases of toiletries and things I've had to just buy something "familiar" and worry about price comparing or ingredient comparing later. It's too overwhelming to attempt to do it with too many things right now.
*People actually obey traffic rules. I haven't heard anyone honk their horn at anyone else.
*School buses look weird.
*The water pressure…wow, at the water pressure.
*Everyone on the roads is so…polite. Drivers actually let you merge over, give you space, nobody tries to pass you on the left (or the right)…for all the talk about road rage, drivers are very considerate.
*Stuff is cheap here. I mean, yes, there are definitely expensive things as well, but overall…clothes, shoes, toys, and basic foodstuffs are not expensive.
*People wait their turn, patiently, in a line.
*Everything is so clean. There's no trash on the roads, the grass, etc.
*It seems like everyone has a smart phone. Even my electronically-challenged in-laws have them (love you guys!).
*It's easy to get caught up in the consumerism. A week in and I already find myself "wanting" all the newest, prettiest things that I see everywhere.
*There are so many cars…on the roads, in the parking lots…so many cars. And so few busses.

So there it is, a few initial observations. I feel like the reverse culture shock is not as bad this time around (so far) as it was when I came back from living in Poland, but it's definitely still weird. When I came back from living in Poland everything was strange, light switches and toilet-flusher handles included. Those things aren't so strange to me this time…it's more of the underlying attitudes of the culture that are getting at me. But we're only a week in…I'm sure I'll get used to it!


  1. How exciting to be back in the States!! I hope you have a wonderful time.

  2. I have 9 1/2 months left in Israel, and I'm wondering if I will have reverse culture shock, at least to a noticeable degree. A lot of things here are very Westernized, but I'm sure going to places like Walmart or the mall will be a bit of an adjustment. Have fun on STAS!


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