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A few days ago my blog got a comment, asking if I was feeling any culture shock since coming home. In college, I studied abroad twice in Germany and didn’t experience a whole lot of culture shock but each time I was only away for a month. So after being gone for a year and a half I didn’t really know what to expect.
Again I’ve actually had very little reverse culture shock. One thing that I noticed right away was that there was less landscaping back in DC and Maryland and things were far apart. I guess I had forgot that but it wasn’t really shocking. I did however have two definite instance of reverse culture shock and both were when I was picking up lunch alone in a fast food restaurant. Both places were pretty packed and in the first instance, which was the day I got back, I was a 100% minority but there wasn’t a single Asian around me, let alone a Korean.
The second time I was definitely in the majority but it still felt weird being around so many English speakers but still not really having anyone to talk to since I was alone (like if I went into a Korean fast food place unless I was with someone I wouldn’t really be able to talk to anyone but for a better reason since I can’t speak enough Korean). This time around, I actually felt a little nauseous and overwhelmed for a moment. It was very strange especially since it’s only been when I was alone getting food. Maybe it’s because I had to run out and get lunch at the McDonald’s next to work so many times especially towards the end of my time in Korea so I have a strong memory of what it’s “SUPPOSED” to be like getting lunch at a fast food place.