Thursday, February 24, 2011

How It'll Be...

I wonder how it'll be when I go home. It's a few months away, but I'm curious what kinds of Middle Eastern trends I'll have picked up. When I get home will I accidently say "shukran" instead of "thanks (شكرا)," "laa (لا)" instead of "no"? Will I forget what it's like to shake a man's hand? Will I actually find a way to miss the traffic, smog, horn honking or staring (mmm, probably not)? I dunno, there are lots of differences between Amman and where I live in Maine. Obviously. I wonder how it'll be when I go home though, what will I miss? What will I act? How will it all work when I go home? I never really traveled internationally before I came to Jordan, so I'm unfamiliar with long distance jet-lag and super intense culture shock. I've done a bit of traveling within the United States, and that's certainly a big country with lots of different areas, but it's immensely different here. It's the language, it's the people, it's the phone coverage, it's the government, it's the religion, it's different.

Do people ever talk about culture shock when they go home? I don't think I've ever thought about it. I've only ever heard about culture shock when you go into a new area, but what's it like when you go back home with all the experiences you've had, the lessons you've learned and the new realtionships you've formed? I bet it's even worse when you get back because literally no one around you will have experienced a single thing you did. How'll you be able to initially relate? I guess I've experienced this, but I never realized that it might be culture shock. I guess that shows my ignorance with travel. Culture shock is a pretty freaky thing. I'm pretty glad that I'm not in a long distance relationship right now (for various reasons) because I feel like it would be impossible for me to relate to him after coming home, regardless of how this semester would go with communication. I just wonder what it'll be like, how my opinions have been reformulated or how different I'll look. You don't notice day-to-day changes, but the long term changes will be very apparent when I look back on my time here (or look at pictures and see how much weight I've gained from all the Jordanian food I get forced into eating...eeek), my hair will be longer, I'll have more freckles, but I'll probably also hold myself in a different way (hopefully not from the heavy backpack I carry around all the time) or something. We'll see.

Only time...

Picture: a water droplet on a clover at a Roman ruin in Madaba.

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