Monday, January 16, 2006

Culture Shock is begining to hit me...


So I've been in America for about 2 weeks now, but only in Wheaton for 1 week. I was really suprised at how easy the transition was going until today. The culture shock nausea has definitely begun. I don't know about other people, but my switching back and forward accross the atlantic makes me dizzy. It's unlike the type of culture shock that you go through when you travel to places like Jordan or Cambodia. There, it is easy to see some things that are difinitly different and probably what it is that is immediately upsetting you. But with the trans-atlantic change it's difficult to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes me sick and uncomfortable.

I can just be sitting in a normal conversation, and the terms people are using, or just the way they are interacting with each other are a little off than what I "remembered" or was expecting. But that alone shouldn't make me feel all that strange or produce the sick feeling in my stomach that I often get (and I'm not talking just about being in the land of mexican food again). I think the reason that I react so harshly to it is that it's something that I feel I should be at home with, I feel that since I'm an American citizen I should feel like I'm no different. But everything does feel so different. And I'm very different here. I only like part of who I am here. Here I turn into a social butterfly. I'm always out with people, I live off of people. I can't sit still. At home, I go several days without specifically meeting up with anyone. I talk more here, and less people seem to realize how full of shite I am. I say things and instead of the normal rolling of eyes, and "yeah...what are you like?" sort of reactions I'm used to, people agree with me. This then leads to me agreeing with my own ideas, and that's never a good thing.

Anyways, so I'm back, classes have been going well so far. This should be an easy enough semester (my believing that means that I will get the worst grades since I began college, cause I'm putting in no effort). I've also been running around like a mad man, moving into my new flat and trying to fill it with cheap things, and seeing as many people as possible in a day. When we first arrived at our new place we were greated to a bathroom, kitchen and small part of our living room flooded with sewage...mmmmm....sewage. So we stayed at my ex-roommate benjamin's room and by the next day they had fixed the plumbing problem and cleaned up the place so we moved in. My roommate still tells me that it smells "funky" (I'm notorious for my lack of sense of smell, so I just have to believe him), so we've been keeping the windows open a lot.

I've been so gratefull for my fellow HNGR friends. We're really forming a community, and helping each other out a lot. It's really a temptation not to associate with anyone else, but I'm really trying to resist that, I know that's not healthy.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wow, it's finally hitting me, I'm leaving in a few hours

Well, yesterday I found out that my plane ticket had been switched by the airline without informing me (arriving a day later and so I would miss a trip that I'm supposed to be going on), so I spent a good 2 hours on the phone (long distance by the way, thanks mom and dad for your phone bill generosity) and finally got it sorted out and have a flight (Praise God). As soon as I got that sorted and also since I phoned my professor in the States telling him I might be late, it's started to dawn on me that I really am going back to the U.S. of A. tomorrow, and more specifically the Wheaton community. I'm starting to feel the stomach pains of culture shock coming on, where things just feel a bit different but you can't put you're finger on exactly what and you feel dizzy for a week. But this is it, it's my last 5 months at a place that has shaped me disctinctly over the past 3.5 years. Weird.

By the way, thank you so much for all your comments about my previous two posts. Most of you made them by email to me, and that was cool too because you could put really indepth responses, but it would have also been cool to get some discussion so each we could all be challenged by one another. I'd also like to draw our attention to the top of the blog where there is a disclaimer that basically says I hold no allegiance to the thoughts that I put down in my blog. I'm as confused about all this as others and some days I find myself being overly uncomfortable and I think, "Wow that guy's such a woman" or other day's I think there should be hard and wide distinctions in gender, and still other times when I see an extremely effective leader who is a woman, or a single father tenderly platting his daughter's hair (okay I confess I've only seen that on T.V.) I wonder what's the point of these gender things at all.

My brother mentioned the other day in conversation that the whole Metrosexual thing we see in big world cities may be a verging response to this by society (even though it might not be the healthiest of responses). Anyway, something to think about.

I leave tomorrow on an Aer Lingus flight at 13:30 and hope to arrive in Chicago at 15:50 (it's cool that they have these quick 2 hour flights now).

All the best, and it'll be cool to see some of you when I get there and I'm going to miss others of you when I leave here.