reverse culture shock, my favo(u)rite disease

Greetings from the Other Side! After having fulfilled my solemn avowal to “sleep for a week” upon leaving my job at CERN, I find it is high time to write here again. And expectantly, I find there is so much to say, too much even. So, before getting into all of that: the usual, post transatlantia impressions of the US.

1. I stand in the restroom at the Philadelphia airport, staring at the giant toilet, wondering, will I fall in?

2. LA, LA, LA. Oh, the cars, the eight lane highways, the billboards (“tattoo EXPO!!”). Note to self: It is warm.

3. I meet my  grandparents and immediately attempt to kiss them on either cheek, much to their confusion and delight.

4. I am frozen in place, eying the rubber-looking  square of carnivalish orange cheese, daring myself to taste it. I do; it’s worse than I had imagined.

5. A grocery store is open past 7PM at night, and wait, even on Christmas? I can’t decide if I should thank Capitalism for it’s kind mercy, or else feel somewhat incensed that I’m in the store on Christmas.

6. I decide, for now, to thank Capitalism, and on another day I follow my mom to that hallowed retailer, target. I am utterly amazed by the fact that I can afford to buy socks.

7. People I don’t know, for some reason, feel that it is appropriate to ask me how my day is or about other about things I don’t feel like telling to perfect strangers…or feel that it is appropriate to tap me on the back in the queue in IKEA and ask if I’m from Sweden. I must be the only person here buying senap sill. Or else I have light colored hair, am not wearing flip-flops, and am in an IKEA. I dunno.

8. the woman at the cashier greets me with “Hello,” and no, she’s not speaking Swiss German! Praise be!

I am both at home and not at home, both bewildered and comforted. How I love this swirling, colorful country! California, here I am!


3 Responses to “reverse culture shock, my favo(u)rite disease”

  1. michael9murray Says:

    I seem to have missed a load of posts somehow – I’m sure last time I heard you were just taking your physics exam… and then here you are!

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