If you have never heard of reverse culture shock. you are about to hear about some of it. When you first enter a country where you have never lived, it is culture shock. Nothing is familiar and you really don’t know how to handle what is happening around you. You often don’t speak the language. You don’t even understand the little hand signs and the other slight communications that the people around you take for granite. You don’t know how to get around. People say and do things that are sometimes completely shocking. You don’t know where you fit. You feel like an odd ball. You wonder why they don’t do things that are logical to you, etc. When you enter your own country after being over seas, you will speak the the language, but often the language has evolved, and everything has changed, and you can also go through culture shock, but this time it is called reverse culture shock.
My daughter hasn’t lived in America much, and I used to live in Oklahoma very close to where we are, but I haven’t been here for a long, long time. The street names are familiar, but I don’t recognize anything. Last evening, there was a tornado in Oklahoma City, and we were in the path, but actually only got high winds. However, others around us got quite a bit more. When we went out today, we found places that had no electricity, power lines that were down, and stop lights that weren’t working. My daughter wanted to go back to the bank to ask questions, but the bank was locked up and dark because they had no electricity. We went into a convenience store to get a drink, but it was completely dark inside, so if we bought a drink there, it wouldn’t be cold because there was no electricity. Our friend who had been helping us couldn’t come because her grandchildren’s schools had no electricity, so were closed, and they were sent to stay with Granmdma for tha day. I knew about tornadoes when I was in Oklahoma before and even saw one from a distance, but I forgot about the kinds of things the high winds can cause.
Another things that shocked us when we went out today was that before we left, marajauana was illegal. However, we saw three places where they were advertising that they were stores where marajuana was being sold. It makes me feel like the morality of the people has gone down. However, the good morality of the people is still showing. There are church buildings everywhere. The people are polite, kind, and friendly. The drivers are so polite compared to where we have been living, we can feel it as I drive down the road and when I come to stop signs. With the stoplights out because of the tornado, there are temporary stop signs set up at the big intersections, and people actually stop and wait their turn letting others go first. there is a corner like that is Seoul where I had to drive often, and on that corner, the people were so pushy it was hard to get through, but today, I was amazed at the politeness of the other drivers.
Something else that was new, but ended up in old stupidity happened when we went to the Sonic Drive Inn restaurant for lunch. While we were sitting there enjoying our food, a black guy on a bicycle came to our car. At first, he spoke to us politely. He asked if he could wash our windows and mirrors and we could pay him. However, neither of us have a job right now, so we really didn’t feel like we could do anything like that until we have a paycheck coming in, so I declined saying that I didn’t have a job. I was suprised he did it. I had never seen anyone in the States try to wash my windows while I was sitting in the car. I had seen it in Mexico, but never in America. The really shocking part that I thought was in the past, but evidently isn’t came next. As he walked away, my daughter heard him say, “Those ladies didn’t let me wash their windows because I am black!”
When will black people realize that people are honest, and it has nothing to do with their skin color? I don’t let the people in Mexico wash my windows either. If I want my windows washed, I will do it myself. There was a help wanted sign at Sonic, and my daughter applied for a job to be a car hop, but the black guy on a bike wasn’t applying for a job, just bothering people for money and when he didn’t get it, assuming that people were prejudiced. Didn’t he see my dark, curly hair? For all he knows, I could be part black too. Had he not made the comment about being black, I would probably not even have thought about the fact that he was black. Come to think of it, the guy who waited on me and helped me get my phone sorted out was black and very nice. The woman at Walmart who waited on us and helped Winter with her phone was black, and she was very nice. The man who helped us in the airport in Dallas was black and very nice. Can’t we say “no” to a black person in America and not be labelled at prejudiced?
As for eating lunch at Sonic, it was good, and it is one of the most inexpensive places we could have eaten. I ate a burrito and tater tots, and my daughter ate chicken nuggets and fries. We don’t plan to eat out a lot, but we are staying at someone’s house, and we didn’t want to burden our hosts with worrying about what we were going to eat. Sonic is famous for cherry lime aids, so we brought a cherry lime aid back to our hostess because she was at home with her grand kids, and our host had gone fishing. We enjoyed our lunch.
Things are different and the same. The roads are broader. The cars are bigger. The rooms are bigger. The parking lots are a dream they are so much larger! There is no trouble parking or getting your car out. My daughter is overwhelmed by the big cars and the big rooms. I love the big parking lots and parking spaces!! We are slowly getting adjusted and finding our way. My daughter said it was going to take some time to get used to where she is. She said give her a couple of months, and then she won’t be asking herself why she came here.