Reverse Culture Shock

Water Lilies in Kew Gardens

Prior to our return to Melbourne I had read about the reverse culture shock and how this often throws the returning expat as they don’t expect it.  Well I didn’t really think it would affect me.  I’m not sure if what I am experiencing is reverse culture shock but it is definitely a shock to the system.  I would like to think that these feelings are temporary and will pass. If my childhood is any indication, then these feelings are set to become a permanent fixture in my life.  At least between april and september.

You may be wondering, what is she talking about? What could possibly warrant such strong feelings in under a week? I have arrived in Melbourne in the middle of the football season. I hate watching sport, playing sport or talking about sport. So my current (as in right now) situation is that I am typing this as my parents and my husband are watching the football.  They are watching a football game with teams playing that no one in the room supports!! Not only that, we can only talk about topics directly related to football.  All other attempts are ignored (ie everything I have to say).  And I had thought it would be nice to sit down and watch a movie.  How wrong can one be??

It’s not all bad and not really a shock at all.  I had just forgotten how thoroughly the footy permeates Melbourne life.  Even though I am not currently enthralled it is fantastic to see my son taking his place beside his dad at the footy.  The excitement on his face when his team won, against all odds, and against their arch enemies.  It’s pretty cool.  And THEN!! one of the players gave him a ball at the end of the game.  And!! patted him on the head!

The prevalence of advertising, especially on the radio, has surprised me. I know it’s no different to any other country.  The difference is that I managed to create a little bubble during my time overseas.  I obviously forgot to pack my filters in my bags before I left.  Plus, it is possible that I didn’t understand any of the ads on the radio in Copenhagen.

On the drive into town on Friday night (to drop the boy at the footy) we heard the same ad for Rescue Remedy upwards of five times.  I fully expect my daughter will be asking for some in her first week of school because the stress is getting to her.  It will be interesting to look back in a month and see if it still bothers me to the same degree or if I manage to ignore it like I used to.

Week one has drawn to a close and we are all well and feeling settled.  Next week we leave my parents and move into temporary housing.  Our cars are organised (my new one arrives around July 17) and the next step is to find a house.  Wish me luck.

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2 Responses to Reverse Culture Shock

  1. Glad to hear that you’re settling in well. If football always bothered you, repatriating won’t help that. And yes, I’m betting you’ll learn to tune out the ‘noise’ that currently grabs your attention. Good luck and hang in there. I’d be interested in how you feel 3 months from now, as you are developing new friends,

  2. Laney says:

    Still feeling as if we’re going to get back on a plane soon. Hoping that when we move into our house it will quash this feeling … even if just a little bit.

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