How did you handle reverse culture shock?

After being away from home for 5 years and wanting to get reverse culture shock when I got back, Iam now suffering from the differences between home and Asia.I thought it’d be fun but it’s just messing with my head!!! I ask others questions about things,inorder to catch up and I feel like I’ve been in a coma or I’m strange for not knowing.
Any tips from others who have gone through the stress of a change in lifestyle having to learn how to adapt back to their original country would be appreciated. I know I have jet-lag right now which doesn’t help my perception of things nor my mood BTW.Maybe after a week or so I’ll be my normal self and I’ll be walking down the street and getting on with my life as if I were back in Taipei! That’d be great. I’ve come back a new person ,the only annoying thing is that old fears have crept up which I want to detach myself from. You all should feel lucky that you’re in Taiwan!
I guess I should feel lucky I’m where I am too.

Doesn’t the streets seem empty and the stores all seem to close too early…

It takes awhile to re-adjust.

Ooh, yeah, those first weeks really suck. I spent most of my time depressed and wandering through Seattle saying “when the FUCK did they build THAT?!” out loud when I saw new buildings and crazy talk like that.
I’d suggest jumping straight back in, concentrating on the things you really missed while you were in Taiwan…for me that meant microbrew beer, the Sunday New York Times and live Mariners games. Took the edge off.
It took me a few months to get really re-acclimated and not start off every conversation with “In Taiwan blah blah blah”. It’s very easy to feel isolated because most likely no one else in your life back home have any clue about your “other” life in Taiwan, but ya gotta muddle through it. Be a pest to friends, drag them out with you nightly (Remember, isolation is the enemy) and oh yes, drink plenty of good beer while wearing your best pair of blue flip-flops.

Good luck!

ALso remember that most people wont care too mcuh about your OS Living experiences so be prepared to just bottle up all that stuff and hold onto the good memories.

In terms of coping… after 18 months am still no closer to being truly settled in…

… but try and do all those things that you miss… good coffee, microbreweries… beaches, good steaks etc, reading… bugger it! I dont know!! :slight_smile:

Life goes on within and without you.

I cannot live with shops closing at 5pm. That’s…just totally wrong!

And who’s going to suggest that no longer being Charisma Man is the hardest part of all to adjust to?

Oops, I’ve already said it! :wink:

[quote=“AWOL”]ALso remember that most people wont care too mcuh about your OS Living experiences so be prepared to just bottle up all that stuff and hold onto the good memories.

Oh how true that is…when i went home last summer from Taiwan, boy did I experience culture shock a lot :astonished: . I missed the scooters the most,being that I didn’t have a car. As for settling in, go thru it all. It’s just rejustment. Have fun doing things with you ‘new’ self, that would normally mess with other’s heads. Call old friends, get good food that you’ve missed, spend time with the family, start looking joyously toward creating the new part in your life while wishing well to the old one. Pride yourself on the growth you’ve made and just relax… You’ve earned it!!!

Well, Secretary Rumsfeld keeps talking about a takeover of Taiwan, and my Taiwanese girlfriend is axious for me to come back … so I guess my days in Washington, D.C. (and the reverse culture shock which I went through) are limited.

Big meeting in the State Department coming up sometime next week … it is all very hush hush of course …

[quote=“Falcon”]Well, Secretary Rumsfeld keeps talking about a takeover of Taiwan[/quote] :astonished: :astonished:

Are we American’s ready for the Betal Nut invasion? :astonished:

I came back!!!

I didn’t know about half of the TV shows people were talking about all the time. “Friends”? Sounded like a stupid name for a TV show, prior to my watching my first episode. But feeling out of the cultural loop ends pretty quickly after a season of watching prime time TV and reading the NY Times website every day.

I was at a law school party at the start of my first year after 6 years in Taiwan and I was listening in on a conversation about “Monica this” and “Rachel that” and “I can’t believe what Joey did” and “Ross is so cute!” I, stupidly, asked a gal standing next to me if these were people in our class. I guess she thought I was insulting her and her friends because she rolled her eyes, huffed a “Whatever” and walked away.

Which incident, as it turned out, taught me a good lesson for law school and for reverse culture shock: Don’t speak unless you are sure you know what the heck you are talking about. :laughing:

Or flap your yap off all the time and bring some madcap joy to this veil of tears…

I had the reverse culture shock thing returning to the UK - putting the TV on and finding out that the comedy shows were actually funny. “F**k - this doesn’t happen in Taiwan…oh yeah, they only show US so-called comedy…I must be back to real life…”

If you’re lucky enough to be in a bigger center with lots of ethnic Chinese folks you just might discover that food from other regions in China is better than Taiwanese food! Not only that, but you can get great Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Korean, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, etc.

Along with the other suggestions, I’d suggest taking country drives on the weekends to quaint towns with scenery and stone buildings and the like, i.e. things that you can’t do in Taiwan.