Thursday, June 01, 2006

Back to the Real World

I don't think I experienced culture shock arriving in Guatemala like I did when I got back to Portland. It was rainy and I was not ready to come back to the real world. I really love Portland, but mentally I am still in Guatemala. It was really great to see everyone here but I expected some things that never happened: I expected to miss luxuries like my pickup, my cell phone, pizza, the english language. It seems the only luxury I missed was sushi and I can do without that, really.

I had a hard time at the Atlanta airport listening to all the english speakers. I kept trying to translate phrases into spanish. I still am, though the urge has lessened which makes me sad because I know I have already begun to lose some of the spanish I worked on for the entire month. I don't want to speak english, I want to keep learning and being immersed in spanish. I hate that I kind of have no control over that. All the inside jokes that my fellow spanish students and I shared aren't as funny to anyone here... I try to explain them, but all I get is a small chuckle. I miss Norberto, Yes-si, Sterling, Bea, Janneke, Sergej, Lisa, Sanne and Carolina so much.

The only thing I am unhappy with is my weight gain. I gained 11 pounds! My baggiest pants before I left are now pretty snug. I am proud that I didn't hold back at all while in Guatemala though. I ate dessert whenever I wanted to, I usually cleaned my plate of delicious "tipico" food and I drank horchata and cuba libras like they were going out of style. It is time again to log on to and begin my diet again. The hardest part will be retraining myself to refuse all the portion sizes and fatty foods which I enjoyed so much while gone.

I won't miss being gawked and whistled at by the local men while walking down the street. I won't miss the noisy, roaring buses blowing dust and black exhaust in my face. I won't miss the local men grabbing me and trying to get me to salsa dance against my will. I will not miss Monoloco. And surpisingly, I won't miss guacamole. But I will miss Guatemala as a whole.

I still hesitate about where to put my toilet paper.


At 10:21 PM, June 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess a different place deemed your luxuries obsolete huh? I don't know what to tell you, other than I guess that's why they are called "inside jokes". You've been caught in that 'place, time and people warp' and you would like to have that world close at hand. So knowing this is impossible, I'm sure you feel a sense of sadness but accept this may now only be a fond memory. Maybe that's the way it's 'spose to be? I truly hope you can keep up with the Spanish somehow. Knowing you- you will be able to get on track with weightwatchers again.

At 7:11 AM, June 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear your back home. When will you be moving into your condo? It really looks beautiful. I guess we will see you in about 22 days in Maine and can not wait, it will be alot of fun hearing about your experiences. Have you purchased your ticket yet or have you decided to ride with grandma & grandpa? CU very soon.

Love you lots
Aunt Lori

At 1:22 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger nicole said...

Yes! I can live out of a small backpack without sushi and a cell phone! I like knowing that, though I was pretty reliant on the internet.

I have not bought my ticket yet, I have to wait to close on my condo first. I can't wait to see you all too! And eat a ton of lobster!

xo, nicola

At 7:55 AM, June 09, 2006, Blogger aluminumbradley said...

I read your blog!! Where's my 30 dollar steak dinner?

At 2:46 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger nicole said...

it's not your birthday.

At 3:12 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger Professor Zero said...

I can really relate to return culture shock! I have a bad case of it right now, and the last time I had such a bad case was on my return from my first trip to Guate. I think it has to do with going to places where the culture is really strong, and being there in a way that really roots it in you...something like this.


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