Furlough: Reentry 2012

As many of you already know, we are now on furlough. We left for the field on August 10, 2010 and returned to the States about 28 months later on December 7, 2012. After spending 28 months on the field, I was curious how our perception of things would change.

A lot happened in those 28 months.

We have been diligently trying to adjust to the Chinese culture and mindset.

It wasn’t until we returned to America, that I saw how much of our mindset changed.

Things aren’t the same as I envisioned. Some foods aren’t as good as you remember while others are better than you expected.

I just want to post some of the small areas that I have noted as “culture shock” for me returning to the States.

  • From the moment we arrived in the Airport, I was amazed of the several nationalities that make up the American people. In China, seeing people of other nationalities is not common place like it is here in the states (even the “Welcome to the USA” video on the plane expressed this).
  • Walking into restaurants, I found myself constantly staring at people because they weren’t Chinese.
  • American style and dress seems so plain.
  • There are so many people with blonde hair.
  • Everyone seems to be drinking Starbucks or a coffee.
  • Internet is so fast! I constantly wanted to turn my VPN on to use blocked sites before I realized I didn’t have too. 4G, wow!
  • Houses are so big. But all the buildings look so small.
  • TVs are always on. Commercials are boring.
  • My mind goes in panic mode when we walk into someone’s house and we don’t take our shoes off. I was never like this before China. But now if I don’t take my shoes off it is all I can think about. Where are my house slippers?
  • I used to love carpet but now I think it is gross and doesn’t make sense. Why walk on fabric? But at the same time, carpet is nice.
  • Standing outside, everything seems so quiet and smells nice.
  • Life, though busy, is calmer and slower.
  • American life seems like a video game. Everyone gets in their car to go somewhere. It is like it’s your public identity because it is so closely connected with your daily life.

The first moth back was just a big culture clash in my brain. It was kind of like a dream. Two worlds colliding.

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