5.5.16

Culture shock

  There is a phenomenon called "reverse culture shock" that one will experience when coming back to your home country after spending any stretch of time overseas. It affects me in different ways every time I come back.  There's always things that I should remember but don't, like static cling and how very cold it is to get out of the shower.  I'm still getting in my car on the wrong side. If anybody wants to see what reverse culture shock looks like in practice, meet me dazed and confused in the middle of any given aisle at the grocery store!  So.many.choices.
And then there's Ellis.  He is experiencing culture-shock in his own little toddler way, although he's not quite verbal enough to express it.  From the minute we landed, things here were different.  Restaurants give you free crayons!  Water shoots out of people's grass!  People can cut grass by sitting on a lawnmower!  We can pull warm clothes out of this thing called the dryer!  We don't have to spend the first thirty minutes at the park picking up trash!  And what are these things on my arms? (Answer: sleeves).  America, however, not all sunshine and rainbows.  He hates diaper changes because the wipes are cold.  The poor kid thinks he sees a park every time we pass a house with a big lawn, and he's having a hard time grasping why we can't play on everyone's backyard swing-sets or pet everyone's dogs. 
I wish I could get into this 2-year-old mind of this to understand what he is thinking.  The best insight I have happened last night when he woke up in the middle of the night shouting "Digger! Bump!  Big Truck!"  Give him wheels and bumps and he will be happy, anywhere in the world.  

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