On December 8, 1999, I flew from North Carolina to Hong Kong for a short vacation.
In October 2011, I returned to North Carolina with two very lovely family members. My wife, Jan, is from Melbourne, Australia. I met our lovely Calico cat at the Hong Kong SPCA.
(My souvenirs are better than yours…)
Upon our return, I did some random tweeting with the #CultureShock hashtag. I was the only person using that hashtag, but now it’s super-popular chaos.
From oldest to newest:
I was back in the USA less than 24 hours before I heard somebody threaten to sue somebody. #CultureShock
Drinking tap water for the first time in over 12 years. #CultureShock
Today I saw people stopping at red lights. #CultureShock
Today I stopped at a red light. #CultureShock
I haven’t cussed anybody in over a week. #CultureShock
Seeing how much US technology has changed in my 12 years away is similar to what I’d experience if I’d been in prison. #CultureShock
First bicycle ride in Wilmington NC. Nobody beeped, I didn’t cuss, nobody had road rage, and I used hand signals. #CultureShock
Shopping in Wilmington NC #StickerShock Then you guys added sales tax #CultureShock
I told the lady at WalMart that I didn’t need bags because I had the big backpack. So she put my stuff in bags and I thought “just like Asia.” #CultureShock
I’ve been told several times this week “Have a nice day, ma’am.” #CultureShock #MustBeTheHair
Got my first library card in over 12 years and checked out a book. #CultureShock
I have alcohol and power tools. I must be back in North Carolina. #CultureShock or maybe not.
Today I used a bank’s drive-through window in Wilmington NC on my bicycle. #CultureShock #WilmingtonRocks
When I left the US, I filled my gas tank for $10 or less. #CultureShock
I ate in a restaurant in the US for my first time in this century, and if I hadn’t seen someone else tip I’d have forgotten it. #CultureShock
This is an excerpt from Who Moved My Rice?