About one week after our family returned to the United States after spending the last four and a half years living and working in Bangkok, Thailand, I wrote a blog about "20 Things I Have Noticed Upon Returning to America." Those were my initial observations. But now that our family is more than two months into our stay in the U.S, I have noticed a bunch of other things that I didn't run into during my first week here.
Reverse culture shock is the gift that keeps on giving, and while I don't walk around every day feeling stressed, there are still a lot of things that make me think, "Well, they don't do it like THAT back in Thailand!" Sometimes, that is a good thing. Sometimes that is a bad thing. But sometimes it is just neutral. Not good - not bad - just different.
So, without further ado, here are...
Last year, when our family was planning for our 2017 home assignment in the U.S., one of our kids' top requests was snow. They wanted to see snow and play in it. So we planned accordingly and now we are here in New Hampshire enjoying the snow. God providentially sent a big snowstorm the day after we arrived and we have taken the kids sledding a couple of times. In fact, I took them to the very same hill that I loved to sled on when I was growing up.
Below is a video of the kids (and occasionally Mom and Dad) sledding at Mack's Hill in Londonderry, NH. As you can see, the kids have realized that there is a bit of learning curve when it comes to sledding. If you scroll down, there are also some regular photos of our kids and family in the snow.
Click here to watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ6pv1e3AcU
After spending the last four and a half years living and working in Bangkok, Thailand, our family recently came back to the United States for a six month home assignment (furlough). My wife and I grew up here, though our kids have spent most of their lives (so far) in Thailand. For all of us, however, there have been many new or not-as-familiar-anymore aspect of life in America to get used to.
Many people have heard of culture shock, the experience of unsettledness and uncertainty when you experience a foreign culture. Fewer people, however, are familiar with reverse culture shock, the experience of unsettledness and uncertainty when you re-enter your home culture after being in a foreign culture for a long period of time. But I can verify that reverse culture shock is a real thing because our family is experiencing it. Although “shock” might be too strong of a word for it, there are certainly a lot of things to get used to again. Here’s a list of several things that I have noticed this past week about life in the United States, after having lived in Thailand for a number of years.