Reverse culture shock

  1. #1 Reverse culture shock
    nycgirl

    Reverse culture shock

    Hey there!

    I was wondering if any of you have ever experienced a so-called reverse culture shock. At my school in Boston, they told us that we might have one when we return to our home country for vacation or for good after a long time in the US (or any other foreign country for that matter).
    I just returned to Germany after 1 year (the longest I've ever stayed away) for Christmas vacation, and I am overwhelmed with the feeling that everything that was once familiar now seems so different. It's little things, e.g. my blanket suddenly seems so small (I have a queen blanket in the US , I forgot how to drive with a stick, no one packs the bags for you at the supermarket (I know that sounds lazy, but you just get used to it)...but also big things, like people I once knew very well have changed so much (and not for the better). I was really at the point where I thought "I can't wait to go 'home' to Boston". My family seems to be disappointed because I, of course, have changed too, and they don't understand the struggle I am going through right now.
    Just felt the need to write this down and share it with you. Maybe some of you had similar experiences?! I'd be happy to hear your story!

    LG, Sabine

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  3. #2 Reverse culture shock
    Americangirl0910
    Hi Sabine,
    I had a similar experience to yours when I returned from my au pair year in MA. It took me about 6 months to get used to life in Germany again and I still miss little things about the U.S such as getting your grocceries bagged for you, having stores open 24 hours and on Sundays etc

  4. #3 Reverse culture shock
    Gast415
    Zitat Zitat von Americangirl0910 Beitrag anzeigen
    about the U.S such as getting your grocceries bagged for you, having stores open 24 hours and on Sundays etc
    By the way, don't believe that is all over the US like that! They stopped bagging in the late 80's around here, and most stores around here close at 9:00 PM, and many stores stay closed on Sundays or open for a few hours only!

  5. #4 Reverse culture shock
    John.Doe
    Zitat Zitat von dschlei Beitrag anzeigen
    By the way, don't believe that is all over the US like that! They stopped bagging in the late 80's around here, and most stores around here close at 9:00 PM, and many stores stay closed on Sundays or open for a few hours only!
    That would be pretty bad for me, I usually shop at around 10pm. That there are differences are clear, I noticed when my parents were here and my dad started packing all the stuff in bags kind of battling with the guy who was doing the bagging.
    I have no issues adjusting anywhere in no time, but what I noticed is, that when I arrive and overhear the first German conversations in a train or the plane, that it somehow does not sound right to me. Somehow I always get the impression, that words end so abruptly and it sounds like in old movies. Strangely I talk often with my parents and I do not get this impression when talking with them on the phone or via Skype.

  6. #5 Reverse culture shock
    Gast415
    Zitat Zitat von John.Doe Beitrag anzeigen
    I noticed is, that when I arrive and overhear the first German conversations in a train or the plane, that it somehow does not sound right to me. Somehow I always get the impression, that words end so abruptly and it sounds like in old movies. Strangely I talk often with my parents and I do not get this impression when talking with them on the phone or via Skype.
    I had the same impression prior to having German TV. After my many years in the US, German sounded different to me (those were the days prior to Skype and cheap telephone calls). This time aroudn in Germany, everythig sounded just right, because my ear was used to it!

    A lot of different things were strange, though, but it is difficult to put ones finger to it!

  7. #6 Reverse culture shock
    Anma
    Zitat Zitat von dschlei Beitrag anzeigen
    I had the same impression prior to having German TV. After my many years in the US, German sounded different to me (those were the days prior to Skype and cheap telephone calls). This time aroudn in Germany, everythig sounded just right, because my ear was used to it!
    Nevertheless I am amazed how quickly language changes, there are so many new words, used by especially teenagers in Germany, that were new to me: buntig, stylish, das ist voll porno (instead das ist geil/cool), davon krieg ich Augenkrebs (es sieht unmoeglich aus), das schickt sau, etc. On the other hand I am being told, that I am sounding so "korrekt und altmodisch".


    I still agree - Skype, German TV, boards, internet etc make it so much easier not to forget the language. That was much harder before the year 2000. I had been abroad and only called home every 6 weeks, because it was so expansive. I wrote letters, but besides that I never spoke/read or heard any German. It did take me a couple of days to find my way back into the Germany language. And I knew many people with similar experiences. Nowadays, that is rarely heard; most exchange students often call home and stay in touch with their closest friends, and hence never get completely lost in the other language or culture.

  8. #7 Reverse culture shock
    Charlie
    Zitat Zitat von dschlei Beitrag anzeigen
    By the way, don't believe that is all over the US like that! They stopped bagging in the late 80's around here, and most stores around here close at 9:00 PM, and many stores stay closed on Sundays or open for a few hours only!
    I already told you once before that you don't seem to live in the "real USA".....the German influence must be too strong in your area

  9. #8 Reverse culture shock
    The Memphian
    Zitat Zitat von dschlei Beitrag anzeigen
    By the way, don't believe that is all over the US like that! They stopped bagging in the late 80's around here, and most stores around here close at 9:00 PM, and many stores stay closed on Sundays or open for a few hours only!
    youre living in one of our colonies, right?

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