On Reverse Cultural Stock Or Something Like That

IMG_2416 Hey You Guys,

Did you know that I’m back in Chicago? Well, did you? Have you not been reading my blog? No? Well, fine. I haven’t been reading your blog, either. Jerk.

Erm, yeah, so I’m back in the US of A after a realization that long-term travel isn’t really for me. And I’ve been back for almost a month now.

Almost a whole freaking month? Can you believe it? I can’t.

 Coping With The Fact That I’ve Been Back For Almost A Whole Month By Eating All Of The Food


Coping With The Fact That I’ve Been Back For Almost A Whole Month By Eating All Of The Food

I’m going to be perfectly honest here; I wasn’t expecting to feel reverse cultural shock.

I mean, Australia is, after all, a westernized country. Australia has McDonalds. America has McDonalds. Australia has Starbucks. America has Starbucks. Australia (at least in Melbourne) has an H&M; America has H&Ms. Australia has sidewalks; America has… um, you get the picture.

I did miss a lot of American things… mostly fatty foods and big portions. Though I haven’t gotten around to all of them yet, I missed fast foods like Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, and Potbelly Sandwiches. The first thing I ate when I came back to Chicago was Taco Bell. And then I felt really bloated and disgusting afterwards. It felt great!

Feeling really bloated and disgusting and great.

Feeling really bloated and disgusting and great.

Reverse cultural shock is something I thought I wouldn’t experience. But I did.

When I first took a train in Chicago, it was a strange experience. I didn’t have to touch on AND touch off or pay a fortune to ride it. Say WHAAAT?

When I crossed the street, I didn’t have to press a button to cross it… or wait like 5 minutes for the walking sign to change. That’s just weird.

Or when it started snowing in the beginning of spring… What the F?

What the F?

Seriously, What the F?

Or when I ordered coffee and it wasn’t in the form of a cappuccino with pretty art but instead gigantic and only 2 Dollar something. Mind Blown.

And, although, both America and Australia are English speaking countries, they say different things for well, different things. And I’ve found myself saying these things. I’ve noticed it in the way I speak now (and sometimes I have to stop myself before saying things or I’ll end up confusing people).

Like when I say rubbish bin instead trash can. Though most people know what rubbish bins are, I still get confused looks.

Or when I say holiday instead of vacation.

Or when I say jumper instead of sweater.

Or when I say main instead of main course. Do they even say main course in America? I don’t even know. What do Americans say? OMG FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW.

I’ve even said toilet instead of bathroom. People just look at me like I’m a gross human being. “What…don’t look at me like that… I need to go to the toilet.”

Since Summer is just around the corner, I’m gonna start wearing thongs! Just kidding, I never gotten used to calling Flip-flips thongs. Australia, you be trippin’.

Since Summer is just around the corner, I’m gonna start wearing thongs! Just kidding, I never gotten used to calling Flip-flips thongs. Australia, you be trippin’.

You guys, I don’t know how I’m going to survive in America with the low pay rates, paying taxes on EVERYTHING, the big portions, and the snow ( well, to be frank, it shouldn’t snow now since it’s “spring”, but with Chicago, you never know).

Have you ever experienced reverse cultural shock when you didn’t think you would? Tell me about it. 

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10 Comments
  1. Loved the comparisons between Ozzie English and American English.

    Hope that you are settling back in and that the shock is wearing off.

  2. I love reading people’s experiences of reverse culture shock. It’s so funny how we change the way we say things when we move to a new place, isn’t it?

    I haven’t been home in over a year and it’ll probably be at least 2 years until I go back for a visit again. It’s weird how reverse culture shock hits us, isn’t it? We always think we have memories of home so clear in our mind and then BAM! Weirdness hits us.
    Ceri recently posted…Thoughts From the North of South KoreaMy Profile

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