As you may have noticed from my previous blog posting, we will be returning to the U.S. following our 2 year language and culture studies in China. In fact, our departure date is today!
While it would be foolish to believe I can anticipate exactly how reverse culture-shock will impact me, there are several things I “think” will be true. Here’s my best estimate for a Top 10 List of what I think I will miss and what I will enjoy about returning to the US after 2 years in SW China.
Obviously, I will miss the many special friends and relationships we have developed over the past 2 years. This will be the hardest part of transitioning back to the US, and I am omitting this most important category to keep this article light and enjoyable (at least for me!).
I THINK I will miss:
- Noodle shops (especially “拉面/lamian” which means “hand-pulled” or hand-made noodles)
- LOTS of daily human interaction (the relaxed, outdoor lifestyle here includes interacting with people on the street, on the bus, in the vegetable market, shops, restaurants, etc…)
- Being able to practice Chinese (everywhere!)
- Weekly traditional Chinese massage (< $10/hr)
- Riding motorcycle in the crazy local traffic!
- Shopping/buying from local shop owners/vendors (not the self-check-out at “big box” stores)
- Creative, artsy culture of Dali
- Natural beauty of Dali (Cang Shan mountains, vibrant flowers/colors throughout the year, beautiful skyscapes with dramatic light from the clouds as they roll over the mountains near sunset…and of course, Lake Erhai!)
- Farmers working in their small village gardens/fields
- Time…for spending with friends and building relationships
I THINK I will enjoy:
- No longer living behind the Great Firewall (see upcoming article for why this is #1 on the list!)
- Being closer to family
- Ability to communicate with majority of society!
- Steak (think Ribeye!)
- Riding motorcycle in more predictable traffic patterns
- Tacos, Chips, Salsa
- Central heating (or effective winter heat of any kind!)
- US “standard” height countertops, tables, chairs…even vehicles!
- Fewer fish bones and bone shards in meat!
I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises during the coming months (and even years) as we experience life in our previous culture, but one that is no longer our only culture. So, I hope to share some of those surprises in this blog with those who might be interested.
Copyright © Kevin Beaty, YUNEV and “Feet on the Ground…”, 2016. All rights reserved.