Friday, December 21, 2012

Immediate Reverse Culture Shock Observations: 15 Hours In

I've only been in America 15 hours and...yep, culture shocked already. This is a bizarre place. And, since it's 6am and I'm jet-lagged and can't sleep, I'm going to detail for you why exactly that is. Here are some of my immediate thoughts since getting off the plane yesterday, direct from my brain to you:

1. Hmm, going through customs and border protection in your own country is easy. I only feel slightly like a criminal!
2. Jesus Christ so much English everywhere!!! I feel really bad for these foreigners who obviously don't speak it very well, because it's obvious that none of the airport employees speak anything else.
3. Wow, Midwesterners are so friendly. My mom and dad made some BFFs while waiting for me to get off the plane.
4. Lord, it's hot. Why are the insides of buildings kept at the temperature of a sauna? I'm sweating!
5. American license plates are small and funny-looking.
6. Yay, snow! Blizzard! WTF DRIVING IN A BLIZZARD.
7. How is my parents' house so big and so small at the same time? We have so much STUFF. Look at all these things in my bedroom that I put there when I was 8 years old and haven't moved since. Bizarre.
8. What is with this toilet paper? I feel like I'm blowing my nose on a pillow! What am I, a princess?
9. Ha, American eggs are tiny and look like quail eggs.
10. Light switches and toilet flushers--where are they? Oh, there they are. Strange shape. I feel like I'm in a foreign country. Oh, wait, no I'm not, this is the house I grew up in. Weird.
11. (Reading a sign on a bank) Hmm, the temperature gauge must be broken, it's definitely not 32 degrees out there, because man is that hot. Oh, wait, Fahrenheit.
12. Holy crap, Tex-Mex food. Chicken chimichanga with refried beans, rice, sour cream and guacamole, you have materialized directly from my dreams. Margarita, I'd have loved to have ordered you, except I forgot about liquor laws in the US and neglected to bring my drivers license to the restaurant with me and was thus unable to prove that I'm over 21. Oops.
13. Netflix, you are a god. So many movies and tv shows at my disposal, 24/7. I may do nothing else over this entire vacation except get caught up on my entertainment.
14. Hello, jet lag. You're right, 9pm DOES seem like a good time to go to bed.
15. (And then...) Ah, good morning, 6am. Oh, look, I can see the sun beginning to rise. Weird.

...and this brings me up to the present. So much culture shock and I haven't even done anything yet. I'm sure this entry will have some follow-up ones in the next few days continuing my bizarre thoughts confronting my own culture, so look forward to that.

Oh, and as a disclaimer in case any of the thoughts above appear ridiculously stupid--I slept basically nothing for around 40 hours due to a wonderful "test" of a security alarm at Paris Charles de Gaulle that ran from 12:30-3am and left me with a lovely ringing in my ears and an inability to sleep for the rest of the night. Thus, my brain is running a little more slowly than normal. You'll have to excuse me.

Hello, snow. Good of you to arrive directly AFTER my plane touched down. Cheers!

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