Thursday, October 23, 2014

Comparisons - a look back

After hearing so many stories of reverse culture shock upon returning to a home country, I was not sure what to expect. Stu was in the US for three weeks in June but was somewhat preoccupied with our newest grandbaby. I'd been in Ecuador since mid-December, a little over 8 months, before visiting the US again. Here's a recap of what I noticed.
  • Everything looked familiar and felt comfortable.
  • Seeing the more rural settings, dressed for fall with pumpkins, was warm and soothing to me.
  • Eating out - EXPENSIVE! Our first breakfast at Cracker Barrel would have bought all three daily meals in Ecuador.
  • Buying food - EXPENSIVE! I'd grown accustomed to the food prices in Ecuador, especially the wonderful fruits and vegetables. When restocking the RV for the first couple of weeks, I spent more than we spend in a whole month in EC, including eating out.
  • More than enough power outlets in every room!
  • I missed hearing Spanish and trying to figure out what was being said.
  • It took a while to remember to put the toilet paper in the toilet and not the trash receptacle.
  • SOOOO enjoyed going to the movies, pigging out on popcorn. We've bringing back our Presto Microwave Popper back with us.
  • It was fun wearing clothes I hadn't had access to for eight months but it was more fun to open all the packages of clothes that we had bought and had waiting for us.
  • I missed the faces and laughter of the children
  • I REALLY missed the smiling faces of the locals when I interacted with them. Not that clerks, etc. here in the US don't interact but for the most part, it seems to be on a more complaining level.
  • I loved seeing friends here in the US but I also miss our new friends in Cuenca.
  • While I enjoyed doing the ordinary here in the US, I missed doing the out of ordinary things we run into in Ecuador.
  • FREE coffee refills....what a luxury compared to paying for each cup (especially when sitting and using WiFi).
  • I was surprised at how many places now offer free WiFi here in the US. We've used it at our doctor's office, Sam's Club, Denny's, Home Depot, Lowe's, McDonald's, and several other spots. Really handy when shopping.

I'm sure there is more but these were at the top of my head. It has been nice to come back to all our creature comfort and be able to binge out on favorite foods. Not so nice to gain 5+ pounds from that food and the fact we don't walk anywhere. I look forward to getting back to walking around Cuenca, enjoying the sights and taking photos.
Yes, our heart is in two countries now....

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