Recently I had a situation at work that aggravated me. Then I talked to a colleague from Europe, where I have spent most of this decade. After talking to her, I realized that I was experiencing some rentry culture shock.
I teach this stuff, so I was a little surprised it took me so long to catch on. As as I was sitting at a Starbucks drinking some coffee, I thought of some things that I have had trouble dealing with as I move back to my own culture.
Here is a list:
1) The hectic pace of life
2) Lots of big trucks on the highway
3) Overly-professional people (i.e., they have their “work face” on)
4) People being loud in public, especially when they laugh their head off
5) Nitpicky rules and regulations
6) People who drive like they think they are Jeff Gordon, using my bumper for drafting
7) Noisyvehicles such as garbage trucks
8) State troopers
10) Strip malls
11) Shabby neighborhoods
12) Stressed out customer service workers
13) People who signal AFTER they make their turn
15) Cookie cutter architecture
Rentry shock begins with a honeymoon period, just as it does in culture shock. In my case, the honeymoon period was short! But I am still happy to be home.
For more on this subject, consult a great online course in intercultural communication at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. You can find it here.