Who Moved My Rice?

Who Moved My Rice? by Michael LaRocca

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?

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Michael LaRocca

As an editor and proofreader, I've ensured clear, error-free materials since 1999. I'm also a published author, a reading junkie, a bicycle nut, an avid hiker, and an NFL addict. My lovely wife is from Australia and our Calico cat is from Hong Kong. I bring home the best souvenirs. I was a purchasing manager and technical editor for an Engineering/R&D firm for eight years before moving to China in 1999 and creating MichaelEdits.com. Prior to that I was a computer programmer, military electronics specialist, hog farmer and repo man. I spent six years teaching English in China, five years as a medical lecturer in Thailand, and one year in Vietnam continuing to grow my business. In those 12 years, I traveled everywhere by bicycle, so returning to North Carolina in 2011 included remembering how to drive.

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