Monday, April 7, 2008

Reverse Culture Shock - Top 10

  1. Paying in dollars! Jonathan felt like jumping up and down and shouting when we filled up the gas tank for ONLY $50! You would too if it cost you over $100 for a fill-up in Italy.

  2. Continuous business hours which allow us to get errands done during the kids' nap time.

  3. Buearacracy Speed: We walked in the Secretary of State Office to apply for our MI driver's licenses and walked out 20 minutes later with our application process complete. They said we would receive our licenses in the mail in 3 weeks. We received them 4 days later!

  4. Submersion into "everything" Christian. Coming back to the "Bible belt" of Grand Rapids has been particularly shocking with a church or two on every block and hearing people speak about Jesus in doctor's offices, stores, etc. as common as speaking of the weather.

  5. The kids have been fascinated by mailboxes and mail trucks. These things they have seen on Baby Einstein DVDs but when they saw them in real life it was like they were so amazed that they actually do exist. Emma is always saying: "Look, another mailbox!" (Mail is delivered on a moto into our lock box attached to the gate entrance of our house in Italy)

  6. The kids also like the "spikes" (steeple spires) they see on churches instead of the typical dome seen in Italy.

  7. The first couple of times going out to stores was very strange and overwhelming. The amount of choices there are, speaking in English with clerks, and having to ask where to find the hairspray at Wal-mart really made us feel all the more foreign in our own country.

  8. Getting behind the wheel of a car and driving after nearly 3 years is also strange (for Noella) and driving an automatic again leaves Jonathan constantly looking for the clutch with his foot.

  9. Without the garage door type of window shutters on houses we feel like a fish in a fish bowl here that is totally exposed. Not to mention the adjustments from sleeping in a pitch black room (even at nap time) to sleeping with so much light in the room.

  10. Everything feels huge, wide and open from the roads to stores to vehicles etc.


C.A.F. said...

11. Being healthy. :)

So glad you guys are having such a good time! I love you so much and can't wait to go into California culture shock together!

Mark and Rachel said...

Think we'll be with you on a few of these in just a little over 3 weeks time! I'm think I'm going to have the hardest time driving on the right side of the street and sitting as the driver on the left. Think I will actually be afraid to do it! But maybe things won't seem so "foreign" since we haven't been gone for as long as you have!

Ben & Melissa said...

We pray you guys adjust everyday and get more comfortable with your old surroundings but at the same time not forget about the people you love in Italy. It's so good to have you guys back in the states but I guess it still doesn't feel like it until we actually get to see you....CAN'T WAIT. We love you so much and we loved all the cute pictures of the kids! Miss you guys.