when we moved to Taiwan, we definitely experienced some culture shock. Taiwan is fairly westernized... but it's still Asia. at first everything was new and exciting - the city, the food, the scooting. then we started to get homesick. sometimes it was just a thing we would miss [our family or bacon], sometimes it was frustration with the language barrier [like when our scooters were towed], and sometimes it was one of those things we like to call an "F Taiwan" moment [what do you mean Husband has to teach on Christmas?!?] but then... you just get used to it. we still have moments where things are exciting or annoying, but for the most part life in Taiwan just seems normal.
so now, coming back to the states, I am going through reverse culture shock.
things that used to be normal when I lived in the states now seem completely weird. driving a car, having to pay attention to speed limits. having cable tv with more than 3 English channels. having a working cellphone. using American currency. not immediately being drenched in sweat from heat + humidity the moment I step outside. seeing signs in English, hearing commercials in English... it's kindof a sensory overload sometimes.
one of the strangest things? grocery shopping. I can go to one store and get everything. not five stores, one. for ev-er-y-thing. I can get a whole cart full of stuff because instead of having to wedge it in the footspace/under the seat of my scooter, it can fit in the trunk of a car. and the selection! so much green stuff, so much gluten free stuff, so much Mexican stuff! Reese's cups! and HOLY COW look at all this cereal!
Target! I may have to save that topic for its own post, but let me say I went to Target 5 times in the first week I was back.
and it's wierd but awesome that I can walk into any Target or grocery store and find my favorite brand of nailpolish. I'm actually a little peeved because essie decides that now they will carry mint candy apple in all stores. but my bottle is cooler because of all places I found it in Taiwan. or at least that's what I tell myself.
anyway, I finally have decent topcoat/basecoat again. and maybe a new color or two [or three...]
something else weird about being back in the states? moving back into my old bedroom. I mean, technically I've lived in 3 of the 4 bedrooms in my parents house... but the room I'm in now was my most recent room. [maybe this isn't something exclusive to returning expats, but it sure is surreal]
by the way, this is Ernie. I got him when I was very small, and as you can see, he's been loved on a lot. [that yellow stuff on his right chest used to be a print of a rubber duckie] you know how most kids will have that one stuffed animal they always have to have with them and keep it a little longer than a child really needs to be carrying around? baby Ernie was mine.
I remember clearly my first day of preschool, I smuggled Ernie in my backpack. we had to leave our bags on hooks in the hall so periodically I would sneak out to check on him. knowing me, I probably didn't zip the bag all the way so he could still breathe.
the first time I remember being away from Ernie was when my Nana Ruhl was in Florida having back surgery. I sent him to her to keep her company in the hospital while she recovered. as a thank you, Nana stitched him on some new pupils for his eyes. [they were felt circles originally and had come loose.]
I've found a few other treasures in my old room. this is one of my bestest best friends and I many many years ago. [I'm the blonde on the right, Katie is the one with the ponytail and high kick] I think we were at someone's birthday party at Cesarland [the Little Caesar's with the indoor playground... man that place was awesome!]
I also have to share this gem, because I realized it was taken TWENTY YEARS AGO. that's right. my baby brother Eric [in the awesome dinosaur sweater on the right] just turned 21. does this mean I'm an adult now? wait... don't answer that.
anyway, my sister Kelsey is in the middle and I'm the one on the left rocking the plaid vest/turtleneck combo. as my friend Danielle would say "this is before Jamie grew into her ears" but for some reason this photo doesn't embarrass me anymore.
in fact, I kindof love it.