Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Reverse Culture Shock

Have you heard of Reverse Culture Shock before? According to Wikipedia, my new best friend after Google, "Returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as entering a foreign environment, which an affected person often finds more surprising and difficult to deal with as the original culture shock." Well, that explains all the mental flossing during my recent trip to Europe:

Munich, Germany

  • After living in Abu Dhabi, I am surprised to see that I have become really good at stealing traffic crossings, you know, like stealing bases in baseball games, when the traffic is light. In fact, maybe a little too good.

  • It's 8 pm on a Thursday night and the shops are closed! Where do people go? I think I'm experiencing culture shock, and I didn't think I would.

  • I had one of the best days of my life today.

  • There must be a book out there on how many ways to dissect a preztel! It's got such a peculiar shape. (N.B. Susi, my Couchsurfing host, told me that it resembles a man with arm crossed and hands on shoulders. :)

  • Eying a bunch of kids playing soccer in a huge open field, I can't help but feeling left out. How outdoor livable is Abu Dhabi?

  • I think I just accidentally drooled over myself when I saw two happy-happy girls riding bicycles passing by me, followed by their mother who had their younger sister on her back seat.

  • In the next 15 minutes, the world doesn't exist while taking a delicious nap surrounded by trees, grass, Alpen mountains and warmth of the sun. Peace!

  • For the first time in my life, I was transformed into a princess - in my jeans and walking shoes! The disney magic took place in a little cafe inside Neuschwanstein castle - I swear I saw sparkles flying off the distanced lake. (Video link here)

  • Watching trees rolling on and off the train window frame next to me is the ultimate Green Therapy.

  • Sitting in a BMW X6 is not the type of thing I'd ever admit to, but I'd do it just for kicks since I'm practically sitting in the home of BMWs (N.B. BMW Museum). It's like you have to try eating with chopsticks when in China!

  • How cool is it to see another underground train travelling in the same direction overtaking slowly. It's like watch a set of slow-motion movie frames in a pitch black space.

  • (N.B. After entering a brauhaus, i.e. pub) It felt like I just fell through the rabbit hole - halls of people drinking and talking and eating *at noon*. Such a contrast to the chilly and grey weather outside.

  • After Abu Dhabi, I think I would say "I can live here" to a lot of cities.

  • Cooking a super delicious food is the best way to make sure no food would go wasted!

    • Salzburg, Austria

      • I wish I were more enthusiastic about where I come from, i.e. Abu Dhabi, but I am not. And Toronto already seems so far away.

      • Cold water runs colder here, not warmer! Love it!

      • Sleeping on the balcony under the countless stars and surrounded by the Alpen mountains sounded quite stupid at first, but turned out very romantic! The only casualty were my glasses, which were blown off to the ground by wind and I ended up with a chipped lens as my souvenir.

      • How could one ever get tired of admiring the Alps?

      • I'm Debbie Downer from Abu Dhabi. Had to bite my tongue from starting sentences with "This is how it is like in Abu Dhabi..."

      Travelling solo in Munich and Salzburg accounted for the first half of my trip. Here are the trip photos. I spent the remainig trip in The Hague, The Netherlands with Q and his family for a very special occassion, which will be announced when Q is back tomorrow. :)


      ada said...

      OK.... what is the announcement??? :)

      Cornelia said...

      Oooh I so thought about similar aspects when I got back to Europe after living in Abu. I think it's so interesting noticing those differences, because that's when I think "I've learned a lot from being away so I better keep travelling".