Reverse Culture Shock

Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's been quite a while since I updated this blog. Partly it's been business, and partly it's been that when you live in a country for a long time its sights and sounds become habit and you forget to take note of things that a first-time visitor would see.

I'm having the sensation of being a first-time visitor now, in London. Every three months I have to leave Morocco in order to renew my visa, and this time around London is the place. I've only just arrived this afternoon, and I haven't had time to do more than check into my hostel, take a short walk, and have dinner. Nevertheless, I know that I'm in a different world.

People speak English everywhere, which I'm no longer used to. Along the street, there are two art stores (where I foresee myself spending too much money), a bookstore (ditto), and several Indian, Thai, and Chinese restaurants in addition to places that serve fish and chips. I haven't seen much of any of these cuisines in quite a while. The architecture is different. Indoors, they have differently-shaped electrical outlets (I need to buy an adaptor). All the toilets are western, and there's no ambiguity over what to do with the toilet paper once it's been used. These are the elements that make up culture shock, the little differences between places. Coming to England from the States would involve almost no culture shock whatsoever. Coming here from Morocco is as different as can be.
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