I don’t know how begin the ending of my trip.
Essentially, this was amazing. I went to Vienna from Nov. 2-6th and London from the 7-11th. Vienna is gorgeous. I will live there someday, I feel. The viennese are well known for their kindness, but kindness is an understatement. The simplest of things show you how amazing they are – for example, if you are walking along the sidewalk, and the person in front of you knows that you are behind them, they will stop and stand to the side so that you may pass – no one does that in America! Unbelievable.
London was also great. I visited an old friend of mine who is from my hometown. She happened to be studying abroad at the same time that I was, and because of her, I got to stay in London for free for five days and four nights. Of course I got to see all of the big important landmarks such as Big Ben and the Tower of London, but honestly, it was so cool to meet my hometown friend in a whole other country. The only downside to London – money. That place is expensive! I can’t even believe it! We ate at Starbucks to eat cheaply… that’s a problem, but other than that, also amazingly gorgeous.
Then I came home. I had the hardest time adjusting to American culture again. One of my friends (who also studied abroad) and I talked about it, and we couldn’t understand why I was having such a hard time, but reverse culture shock hurt me badly.
The first time I opened up a toilet, I was practically scandalized by the amount of unnecessary water in the bowl. Simple things confused me, like garbage, light switches, doors, and even the look of money, so bland and green. I’ve realized how wasteful we as Americans are. We leave lights on when we aren’t in the room, we don’t recycle nearly well enough, we use excess water, the list goes on and on and on. In fact, the first time I saw that perky nice waitress, I wanted to tell her to bugger off because I seriously didn’t want to be bothered. I don’t think I was such a pleasant person upon returning. And please, do not get me wrong! – I don’t hate America, or hate being back, but I have open eyes to subjects that I didn’t have before. And walking into the Wal-Mart for the first time really slayed me. The first thing I did was look up at the ceilings, down the aisle, and left as far as I could before taking my first steps. It was a shock.
I don’t want to be that person who constantly says, “In Germany… yadda yadda yadda,” but honestly, it is so hard to control it. I try especially hard around my friends, which I’m glad to have back. I did feel like a visitor at my own school for a short while, but now I’ve settled in. However, I can honestly say that it was the hardest transition of my life coming from Europe to America – more so than going to Europe from America. I think it is because I was expecting that everything fall right back in place, and when it didn’t, I was culture shocked! Not to mention, I came home and after 3 days of U.S. life, went to my first day of school and classes and activities. I’ve been on the move ever since, and still have not caught up on sleep from all of my adventures.
Ending lines – I encourage that everyone study abroad. Anywhere you’d like, go there and learn something new about their culture, because as the famous Romantic German Writer, Goethe, says – only then can you truly understand your own culture – and it is the truth.