Returning to your home country after so long abroad, you are always bound to run into reverse culture shock. Some of the more obvious things are the portion sizes, the much larger spaces and the noises I hear in the background. Another thing that takes some getting used to is the size of the people. I mean, in Japan, I was the elephant in the room, but now I’m average. Fatty is the norm here.
One of my more interesting episodes which may have exceeded reverse culture shock was yesterday. I started my day visiting a dear friend of mine who happens to be a serious gun collector. He was very excited to show me his new toy. A fully functional, mounted .50 caliber machine gun. Those things are meant to destroy engine blocks! I don’t know how he even gets that thing out of the house to shoot. I asked if you need a special license to own one, but I guess you don’t.
Later on that day I went to meet another great friend of mine. I didn’t call before I showed up, so I showed up a little too early. The whole family was about to go to church. They invited me, and since I knew the whole family and the minister, I decided it was ok. I was a little concerned about my overly casual appearance as I was wearing shorts, sandals, and a Led Zeppelin Tshirt. They all said it was ok since it was a casual church. What I learned once the service began was it was a church that celebrated the risen black Jesus. Being good Friday and a very welcoming and friendly church, I was welcomed with open arms and invited to carry the cross around the room.
So I came back to the U.S., got to play with a .50 cal, and was black Jesus carrying the cross. Is that reverse culture shock?