Page two thoughts...
Today's Topic: Shades of things to come. As you know from my previous post, I recently spent four days in Taipei, Taiwan. What you don't know, however, is that I experienced a small bit of reverse culture shock. If you don't know what reverse culture shock is, here is a webpage that does a nice job of explaining it: https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c56075.htm . I had never heard of this phenomenon until I had a conversation with one of the Fulbrighters in Taipei who has done some extensive traveling outside of the states. Here are some of my "signs" indicating I was experiencing a mild case of reverse culture shock: I caught myself, unexpectedly, and automatically, thanking the waitpersons at meals in Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), handing my business card to people with two hands, noticing how quite things were, how wide the roads were, and how few motorbikes there were on the streets!! I found myself thinking: where the heck is the nước mắm truyền thống (traditional fish oil) for dipping my spring rolls??? and how can I be expected to eat fish without my beloved, pungent, mắm ruốc (fermented shrimp paste)!! Most amazing to me, however, was that I was saying things like "well, in Hà Nội, we (not they) do such and such..." and "...in Texas, they (not we) do such and such...". I guess after living in, and immersing myself in, the culture of Hà Nội for 8 months, it's to be expected... so, I'm left to wonder what lies ahead for me as I transition back into life in the states after having lived abroad for a year? I guess time will tell.
Bonus round: I'm curious as to how many of you are following this blog of my Fulbright experience. If you feel so inclined, please email me at email@example.com and say hello! It just has to be a note that says "I do". So do it...do it now!!