Recently, I had the opportunity to go onto Misawa Air Base for some good ol’ American food shopping. Of course, the base boasts more than just a grocery store – bowling alley, climbing wall, movie theater, golf course, and some planes to name a few – but my primary goal was finding crunchy peanut butter. Once I passed through the automatic sliding doors, though, I found something else entirely: reverse culture shock. Now, I’ve gotten lost in a town full of incomprehensible kanji signs, contorted my body into ridiculous shapes to handle squat toilets, and had tiny fingers poked up my butt; in other words, I know culture shock. But I was unprepared and completely taken aback by its reversal. Here are a few things that may seem normal to you, but put me in a daze:


Rude (or maybe just not ridiculously nice) Store Clerks

Shopping Carts (have they always been that big?)

ESPN College Basketball


Ambient conversation I can understand



Not being a giant (or being in the proximity of other giants)

I knew it was bad when someone asked if I was in line, only to realize I had been staring at those grocery conveyer belts at the check out counters. And that was only a grocery store, just a taste of reverse culture shock (get it?). What’s going to happen when I’m back in the States and go into a sports bar…or Walmart…or an SUV?!


One response to this post.

  1. Heh. When I was in a drug store in Canada during Christmas, I totally forgot about taking all of your stuff out of the basket and putting it onto the counter for the cashier. I just hoisted the entire basket up. Luckily my mom caught my mistake really quickly so it wasn’t too embarrassing. =P


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