Monday, April 13, 2009

culture shock

We have been back in the States for a week now. Actually, a week exactly as I am writing this. It has been a whirlwind of a week and I haven't had much of a chance to communicate with the outside world so I will try to catch up now.

The trip over was amazingly smooth. I didn't even feel stressed as we were leaving for the airport. The kids did remarkably well on the flight although poor M got a workout as he rocked CB in the back of the plane for a couple of hours to keep her asleep. W was a champ, as usual, and only took a couple of days to adjust to the time change.

I, however, am having a harder time adjusting to the time difference. It's not the jetlag that is killing me, but the fact that I now wake up after my friends in the States, instead of before them. I am so used to waking up to "yesterday's" emails and messages and not "today's". Not to mention that I don't have to wait until 6pm to call businesses on the West Coast. I have to admit that I've been slacking off because I keep thinking, "I can do it tonight", but by the time tonight rolls around, everything is closed and everyone is sleeping.

We have been quite productive this week though. Highlights include: 2 trips to IKEA (and no fighting), getting my iPhone and trying to figure the darn thing out, a 2 hour drive to get our insurance set up, multiple trips to Target, Whole Foods, the mall, getting about 7 inches cut off my hair and having it colored for the first time in 3 years, a trip to the Aquarium for the kids and a fantastic dinner at the best fish market on earth, taking M back to the airport and saying goodbye to him until he comes back in a couple of months, going to a birthday party and doing more shopping, doing Easter Sunday and then finally unpacking our 8 suitcases today. It is no wonder that I am beat and itch like crazy.

I am not used to this lifestyle. I am not used to all of the shopping and socializing and being busy. In Germany, we live in a quiet little bubble and go out 3 times a week. I can go 2-3 days without talking to anyone but the kids and my husband. Not here. It is NON STOP here. There is always something to do, something to look at, money to spend. I have to say that I am dealing with some serious culture shock! Stupid things, like billboards, are incredibly distracting and frustrating to me now. You don't see billboards in Germany, and if you do, they are small, not 5,000 feet wide and lit with enough lights to light the block. Traffic, and stop lights. Seriously! How many stop lights do there have to be within 4 blocks? And what is up with the people here? Have people just gotten more rude and self centered or am I just really cranky? It is just all too much, too much stuff, too much trash, too many people talking to themselves on their bluetooths...

It is going to take a lot of adjusting to get used to life here again. I've only been gone for 6 months, but it feels different coming back this time. Maybe it is because I know that our time in Germany is up, and we won't be going back. I will really miss living in Germany but I am happy to be back in America, despite my wicked case of culture shock. We just need a chance to get settled and into a routine... and by the time we do that, the twins will be here and EVERYTHING will change, again. Good times!


Jessica Ryan said...

Welcome home Jojo!!!

mommy-medic said...

Awwww, I'm sorry you are having a hard time of it. I guess ignorance is bliss, because I don't notice the people talking on their bluetooths, (unless they are obnoxiously loud in the store, that's rude and irritating). Anyway- welcome back! (theme from 'welcome back kotter' going through my head).

Jen said...

I felt just the same when we got back to the States. Everything is so bright, busy, and LOUD. Busy, busy, busy all the time. It took awhile to get back into my own groove. Glad you're here safely - take it easy, girl.