S.O.S.! I am experiencing Reverse Culture Shock… in my HOMELAND! =O
For a girl who’s travelled all her life, lived in 3 continents, 5 countries, 6 cities, innumerable homes, and attended 3 different educational systems, 9 schools, and 2 universities (in 3 different locations), I really should be used to this.
What I miss about Germany:
- RECYCLING! (Mülltrennung) – not that Vancouver doesn’t recycle; we’re quite green and we certainly separate paper from rubbish. Yesterday I was looking for “Verpackung” (packaged recyclables) outside but found to my horror that everything was mixed into one general bin (with the exception of cans/bottles to the side)! How appalling! People, RECYCLE! Think of the environment, this BEAUTIFUL EARTH in which you live! It’s really NOT that DIFFICULT and it’ll become a WONDERFUL habit!
- German language – There are lots of Germans (tourists and German-Canadians) in Vancouver. However, I can’t seem to find them at the moment. I must’ve missed the tourism-peak in Vancouver (usually end of June, all of July)… Still, I kept throwing in German words here and there yesterday. (Luckily, one guy could speak German… but instead of “wirklich?” I replied “echt?” Hence, no response…) It’s just so strange to be in an Anglophone city.
- Historical architecture – WHERE ARE THE QUAINT houses, buildings, churches (ok, fine. but our oldest churches are from the late 19th C.)? What are these skyscrapers doing, blocking OUR view? Come to think of it, the ‘historical’ part of Vancouver would be a section called ‘historical downtown’, which really isn’t that historical, since the historical buildings have been renovated one way or another… then there’s the obvious Gastown. Hmm, maybe I shall visit that soon!
- Currywurst! – Yes, I gave a huge tube of curry-ketchup-sauce to my brother 2 months ago and now he’s 3/4 done with it… Why didn’t I send another one home?
- organic/natural stuff – Not much of a selection here… But a few more brands are springing out.
At the same time, I seem to be slowly readjusting myself in Canada. I realised that there have been some things that I’ve missed from home:
- FEW smokers! – yay! I don’t have to keep holding my breath as I walk through the city. Instead, I can breathe in the fresh Canadian air that I’ve missed so much! Now I can finally reduce my chances of dying early from second-hand smoking. OR maybe I shall now suffer from second-hand marijuana-smoking.
- Water refills – freies Leistungswasser! No more having to pay for a beer because it’s cheaper than water 😛 No more worrying about drinking water with Kalk (lime/chalk)!
- Longer opening hours – Some places stay open til 9pm! Yay!
One thing I NEVER missed about Canada is taxes. I keep thinking that I should be paying for the price LISTED. Imagine my mini-schock when I realised I had to pull out more change. I hate not being prepared!
Perhaps the biggest shock for me – and please, I’m NOT racist – was being in a city that’s dominantly populated by Orientals. Everywhere I go, I see Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese. No wonder Vancouver’s nicknamed Vanasia.
And that is Day 2 of Life Back in Vancouver.