Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reverse culture shock, take 2

Summer: USA Edition is going well so far. This is going to sound strange, but even though it's been a whole year since we were last in the feels like yesterday. I compare this feeling to last year, when the US seemed like a very strange and unfamiliar place after two years away. Almost everything I encountered was full of the wonder of re-acquaintance or the awkwardness of, well, not remembering how to do stuff.

This time around, I've been able to adjust much quicker. However, there have still been a few bumps along the way. The other day I drove through a construction zone. In the UAE, in a construction zone, you're pretty much on your own to navigate a safe path. Detour signs, adjusted lane markers, and human flaggers - you won't find any of those. So in this construction zone near my parents' house, I took matters into my own hands and drove as I would have in the UAE. Well, that didn't go over very well with one of the construction workers, and she let me know. I learned my lesson.

It's still weird to hear perfect American accents coming out of the mouths of all kinds of people. I'm still making a fool out of myself at the grocery store as I stroll through the aisles at a leisurely pace, like the food tourist that I totally am (I bought peanut butter Oreos today). And I'm still enjoying seeing the effect the US has on my kids. All the Gushers I they can eat, OH YEAH. In fact, last week when Jeremy asked the girls what their favorite thing about America was, they agreed: "Lucky charms and the trampoline."



Liz Johnson said...

Has your accent changed since being in the UAE?

Bridget said...

How did you know?? My intonation is ever so slightly British (for example, falling intonation on yes/no questions) unless I consciously make an effort not to do it. Because of my kids and British school, I also use some British vocabulary. It's lame and it probably sounds pretentious to some but to them I say, you try being around British/Australian accent people all the time and NOT picking some of it up. :)

Jennifer said...

Bridget, I noticed just a slight accent in your voice when you came over, but my favorite part was when you asked your kids if there was anything they needed to "tidy up" before you left. Made me smile. :)

Jen said...

Do you call it "Rubbish?"


Bridget said...

If I don't stop myself, YES. And it's a bin, not a can. And you do things properly, not right. Magdalena tells us she needs to go to the toilet, not the bathroom, and I have to stop myself from calling it that, too. Sigh.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

You call it toilet all the time! Or at least 90% of the time.

Lyse said...

"Lucky Charms and the trampoline." AMERICA.

Amazing. What little observant poets you have!

Eevi said...

We are in Finland right now after a two year hiatus and I am loving it. Today I navigated the bus and metro with two sleeping kids and felt quite proud of myself. But I did feel like a tourist there for a bit. It is funny how things are part of your childhood (or even adulthood) can feel new and strange, yet wonderful when you dont get to have it all the time. We enjoyed a delicious ice cream and of course, Finnish candy so far. And the kids swam in a lake which obviously doesnt happen in Tucson.

Oh and I remember your comment from two years ago that traveling with the two kids would be easier, it was a breeze this time with a 4 and 2 year old rather than with 23 month and 4 month old like last time:)


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