Today was my first full day back in the States, and my first day of reverse culture shock. I'm sure I'll adjust quickly, but I actually could feel the culture shock today. I went to a large grocery store to buy a few things, and it just felt surreal. My brain was whirring trying to remember which aisles had which items, and how to use the self check out. The most at home I felt was when I went to the Dollar store. Everything sold in China reminds me of the Dollar store. I drove around for awhile, and I had to keep reminding myself that the traffic in America is orderly, and I could peacefully wait in line.
One big shock today was that for the first time in a year I got full sun on my face. It's a weird feeling after being deprived for so long. The pollution in China is so bad, even this time of year, that it looks like there is constant fog. But it's not fog, it's pollution. But today I was walking outside in the clean air with actual sunshine beaming down on me.
My first purchases here? Tortilla chips and a bottle of nacho cheese sauce, a cantelope (Why don't they sell these in China?) a basket of strawberries that I"m sure were never fertilized with human night soil, some bagels and cream cheese, and some Cheetos. I've missed Mexican food so much, I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted.
I'm still having a little trouble stopping thinking in Chinese. But it's easier now that I'm away from the airport and from a large Asian population. I don't want to forget my Chinese, but my brain needs to let it go a little now.
I don't know if my son has experienced culture shock or not. He was gone most of the day visiting his friends. But I do know that he hasn't stopped smiling since we got here. :)