Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flying Back Home, Jet Lag, and Reverse Culture Shock

I've been home for over a month now, but I still wanted to recount my experience with jet lag and the very weird reverse culture shock. 

My flight home was definitely not as good as my flight there...maybe a sign I should have stayed.  I flew United home instead of Lufthansa (German airline). It is usually cheaper to fly with an American airline, but if you can I would suggest flying with an international one. The have better service and food. I don't remember what I ate on United now (probably because I didn't eat much). Also, at one point the bathrooms at the back of the plane were occupied and there was a food cart in the way so the man sitting next to me just told me to go to the front. I wasn't thinking about how first class is at the front so I just walk on up there. I see reclined chairs, tablecloths, and very comfortable people...oops. I still walk to the bathroom and one of the first class attendants confronts me. 
"Where is your seat?" She asks me. 
"Uh...21 D," I say. 
"This bathroom isn't for you. It's for first class." 
"Oh, my bad. There was a cart, I'm sorry," I apologize backing up.
"Fine. Use this one, but don't come back," she rudely tells me. 
So I wait. Meanwhile, the attendant is serving the comfortable people dessert, which comprises of a cheese plate, fresh fruit, ice cream in glass dishes, and wine. And then this lady from first class gets in line behind me and the attendant stops what she is doing to say, "You let that lady go ahead of you, okay." 
The lady offers for me to go first, but I insist she does. I feel so out of place and judged by the freaking flight attendant. 
Also, my TV on the back of the seat was working this time so I spend most of the flight catching up on American movies instead of getting rest. My head feels like cotton in a wooden box. 

I land in San Francisco. English! Everywhere! Wait, I don't have to try and speak Italian anymore...but I want to! Waa!

Omg! What in the world time is it?! I am beyond confused. My uncle and cousin pick me up. I complain loudly and then fall asleep in the car, but my cousin understands because she went through this a few weeks before me when she came back from her year in Italy. I get to their house and I have a really bad stomach ache and I eat some unsalted cashews, which reminds me of when I started buying unsalted cashews as Lidl because they were a euro cheaper than the salted ones. My first meal back in the states is a veggie burger and sweet potato fries. 

The next day I leave for the airport again to go home home. I have to take my shoes off at security. Are you kidding me? They are just flip flops (I can where flip flops in public again)! To-go coffee...what?! I try and pay in euros, which I have too many of still. 

The night of sleep at my cousin's house helped a lot with overcoming my jet lag. I had a good 12 hours of solid sleep. I'm still really confused about the time of day at any given moment though for like the next week. And I'm still tired, but I can function. 

Here are some things I can't deal with: 
I don't have to light my stove any more or turn off the gas. It's automatic. 
The confusion with being able to plug my electronics straight into the outlet without an adapter (btw: my computer power cord died the other day, and the computer guy think it was from being plugged into 220 voltage for four months).
I can actually understand nutrition facts again...hmm I'd rather not.
It's like four dollars for a coffee! What happened to the 1.30 euro cappuccino? 
Ice cream! What is that stuff? I just want gelato. 
I did get sick of Italian food in the last month. But all I want now is some gnocchi! 


So the little advice I have on these subjects:
1. Don't worry about sleeping on the plane, just get a good night rest the first night back.
2. Bring your own snacks on the plane.
3. Be aware that you will have reverse culture shock and it's okay.
4. Keep in touch with the friends you made. 
5. Scrapbook.
6. Cook food that reminds you of where you were. (I made gelato the other day!)
7. Enjoy all the food that you missed so much while you were away. 
8. It's okay to be sad that your home and happy that your home at the same time. 

This will be my last post for a while until I develop the photos I took with film next semester. Thanks again for reading! And, travel away! 

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