Reverse Culture Shock

Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Friday, May 16, 2008


The culture shock of returning to the States is more profound than the culture shock of leaving. Leaving, I knew that I was on an adventure and expected things to be different. Returning, I'm struck by the novelty of the most everyday things. For example:

I met a friend for lunch and we went to the salad bar at Whole Foods. Can you imagine? Small plastic tubs filled with fresh fruit salads, so many varieties of cooked and fresh veggies, acres and acres of foods of all kinds from different cultures, all in one place, under one roof. All I could do was stare at it all. I hadn't seen so much good vegetarian food in one place in months.

I went to an art store in Central Square. They had paints of all kinds and attendant brushes and palettes, drawing pencils, oil and chalk pastels, notebooks, sketchpads, fabric paints, beads. I could find felt-tipped calligraphy pens with nibs of different sizes in any color I wanted, and I could pick them off the shelves myself instead of asking a surly man behind a dingy counter to please show me whatever pens he had. I honestly found that art store more novel and exciting than djema-al-fna square.
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