Some People Call it Reverse Culture Shock.

IMG_4933When a backpacker travels for a long period of time, experiencing the intricacies and unique nuances of another culture (i.e. partying, boozing, and sexing with foreigners), they can become so accustomed to this new culture that their home culture suddenly seems foreign.

Some people call this Reverse Culture Shock.  I’ve got a different name for it.

I call it, remembering how lame America is.

Most of you know that I’ve been traveling for years, exploring and experiencing the Euro standards like London, France, and Spain, as well as getting off the beaten track in Serbia, Croatia, and Turkey.  I’ve spent time in Israel and Malaysia, and most recently lived and worked abroad in New Zealand and Australia.  And it never fails that every time I come home from an adventure abroad, I feel bogged down by a grass-is-greener feeling, like I’m missing out on something — something that was better about being overseas.

When I got off my flight from Australia last week and walked across the road to catch a shuttle bus to Johnny’s house, I almost got hit by a car.  In my jet-lagged haze, I’d forgotten that for the last year and a half I’d been in a country that drives on the other side of the road.  Now, I can’t say that one side of the road is better than the other, but this was just the beginning of a long list of things that made me really, really miss being on the other side.

Here’s More:

In America, you have to tip the bartender a dollar for every drink.  I mean, you don’t have to tip, but if you don’t, you’ll look like a foreign douchebag with no money or no class.  So because that bartender did such a great job pulling that Budweiser from the fridge and popping the cap off, you’ll give her an extra buck to reward her for going above and beyond.  Lame.

In America, you get charged sales tax. Now, most countries have sales tax, but in many other countries (including Australia and New Zealand), that tax is usually included in the price of the goods or services.  So that means the takeaway shop’s $5 meal deal actually costs $5.  Not $5.39, which is a misleading and stupid price and it just means that everyone has to carry around pocketfuls of nearly-worthless change. And that brings me to another point: Let’s get rid of the nickel and the penny already!  They are worthless!  No more small change. Sorry Abe.

In America, the measurements are stupid. Really stupid.  We’ve all grown up with feet and inches and miles, so to us they make sense, but to the rest of the world, they are a freakin mystery.  In fact, the only other contries that haven’t switched to the metric system are Liberia and Myanmar.  Here in the US the only ones that measure weight in metric are the cocain dealers, why can’t the rest of America catch up? Land of the free, home of nonsensical measurement systems.  I’m joining the USMA.

In America, everyone is American.  Okay, that obvious, and I’m being stupid, but what I mean is that it can be really fun to stand out as the foreigner.  Being the anomaly draws attention, and I’ve really enjoyed that attention.  “Hello girls, I’m the new California boy in town, maybe you can show me around…”  you get the idea. Here in America, I’m just another American. Thats just boring. And it doesn’t help to fuel my sex addiction. Lame.

Sorry to vent.

I really am glad to be back — It’s been great to catch up with some old friends.

I’m just still missing the other side of the road a little bit.

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  • sophie

    so sad to ear you being so negative! but you’ll get back at your normal life faster than you want!
    i’m still enjoying the foreigner’s life because im in norway for few months and i do understand your problems!
    but im sure that if you keep being justin the californian boy with his incredible smile, gorgeous butt and cheeky eyes you’ll get your sex appeal back ;)
    miss you

  • lisa hoyer

    ;))))) u make me sooo much smile!!!! oh my godness, hone!! hahaha… same old everywere!!! hihihi why can u stay as an austrian soooo much longer in other countrys than, lets say as an hungarian!?!?!? they do the same shit as in all other populated, coralled landscapes on this beautiful earthround…. so why can´t we all just be us wherever we r…… why does not everyone gets the same for doing the same!?!? questions over nd over…
    but the good thing is, that there r more people that think like u.. nd just this thing, that there r some people that tell their friends how they feel… u now chain reaction!?!? hihihi so activate and never stop.. couse`the humans allways talk about u and what shit u r talking… so it comes in their subconscious… ;))) hahahahahahihihi so on, nd on, nd on.. ;)))
    i hope u r so good!!!

  • Meghan


  • Jurgen

    Good to hear you got home safe m8!
    and remember there’s always the next trip to look forward to ;)

  • Marion

    Oh dear, I’m going back home next week and you seriously scare me. I miss the other side of the world already.
    Hope you are well,

  • urbanvox

    I miss the other side of the road like… aaaallll the time…
    and I haven’t travelled nowhere near as much as you have… heheheh

  • lou bear

    im takin care of that other side till u come back to us :-)