Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reverse Culture-Shock, Part 2

Here is another very random list of things that have been a culture shock for my kids. Alot of you seemed to enjoy the first post, so I am continuing my little series. If you missed part 1, go here.

1. Food aisles (There are so many choices here... and so much processed food. Most of my cooking is done from scratch because we do not have the quick options Americans do. I'll have to post a series one day on that topic.) 2. Smooth roads (So smooth at times, that we get sleepy as we travel. Trust me... this does not happen with our bumpy roads in Ukraine... You always have to be alert there!)
3. Restaurant/Fast food choices everywhere you turn (Why would you ever want to cook at home when you can have dinner in just minutes? We certainly do not have this "quick" option in Ukraine... unless you want McDonalds every day of your life... and who does?)4. Free grocery bags (Did you know that we pay for these in Ukraine... about 20 cents a bag?! Being the frugal people that we are, we save these and reuse them [and reuse and reuse... you get the picture]. You know, I could probably make a fortune by saving the bags we have been given here and selling them in Ukraine!)
5. Self check-outs. (Ummm... this would definitely be a big "no-no" where we live. Especially since people here in America are allowed into stores with big purses, diaper bags, etc... In Ukraine, we have lockers where big purses have to be locked up before you are allowed into a store. I'm sure you can guess why.)
6. Mega-sized stores (Do you know how easy it is to get lost in these places? And wow... how do you ever decide what to buy?!) 7. Parking lots (It is unbelievable how common it is to see a parking lot like the one pictured below here in America. Since most Ukrainians walk, this is an unusual sight for us.)8. Mile markers (These are so nice when traveling!)9. Water/Ice dispensers on refrigerators (It seems that most people have these in their homes and my kids are fascinated. They refill their cups over and over just to be able to work these machines. They are certainly getting more than their required amount of water to drink these days, and I sure don't mind!)10. Free drink refills (In Ukraine you pay for refills, so we are having a hard time getting used to being able to drink all we want.)11. Drinking tap water (Drinking water from a faucet in Ukraine is something even the Ukrainians will not do. Everyone buys their water or draws water from a nearby well to drink.)12. Obesity (I'm almost embarrased to mention this one, but to be completely honest we are stunned every time we come back to America to see the obesity. Food is so readily available here that people are becoming alarmingly overweight. When you live overseas and are away from Americans for a couple of years at a time, the shocking truth of this is very evident when you walk off of the airplane. I sincerely miss America food and easier cooking, but I also realize that I am doing my family a favor by not having as many food choices.) I still have some more "reverse culture shock" to share with you, so I hope to do one more post on this topic. Your comments (here on the blog and in my e-mail inbox) have certainly been entertaining, so I look forward to hearing from you again, my friends!


  1. I am having to wipe the drool off of my computer from my kids. "Look at the aisles in that store! That store is huge! Those roads are in America? All of those signs are restaurants?" If this is what your pictures are doing, I think we will allow our kids out only at dark. :)

  2. I loved this one! It has been nearly 3 years since I have been in the US...I am sure many things would be a shock to me,...this little "Chamula" from Chiapas!

    Can't wait for your arrival! Excitement is in the air, as today we will begin preparing the house for our very special guests!!!!!


  3. Oh well, concerning the smooth roads... Most of the roads in Simferopol were paved just recently.

  4. Beautiful mountains in the picture of Walmart! Is that in Colorado?

  5. I am enjoying the reverse shock articles. I remember Guimons coming back from Uganda. Our Anna had to talk to a man helping Debbie over the phone because he was talking too fast for Debbie. She cried! ~ I didn't blame her!!!!! She also cried when I took her to Walmart. Too overwhelming!

  6. I remember having some "reverse culture shock" when we came back from Japan. It's kinda fun to see America from a different point of view. Loving your posts!

  7. A big AMEN! All this stuff was shocking to me too! It's funny to read it from someone else. The obesity was VERY shocking! When we went back my kids couldn't figure out where to get water. They asked my mom and she said (with a dumbfounded look on her face) "from the faucet!". Like she was thinking, "where else". It was so funny!
    Anyways, enjoy your time there!

  8. While reading your post it made me laugh, because I could relate to everything you described. My husband is mexican and my kids and I are Americans! Our family is currently serving full-time service in a church located in SLP, Mexico. The past three years my kids and I have had to return to the states for health related issues and childbirths. Its funny to hear the kids expressions, because the accomidations we have here in American is far from what we have in Mexico. My kids recently experienced the automatic water faucets. Their faces made me laugh. Mexico is moving up, but not in every town or ranch. I enjoy reading your post always, and I can't wait to read the next one! God Bless You!

  9. I did not know if I could write to you are not Bro Weido tell me you all will be in our church sometime this month I think but you are so right on our people eating out to much I try to avoid them as much as possible I love to hear your stories and I enjoy hearing about the UKraine I know things are hard there but sometimes I wish they were here and that we could sew and quilt but now I am to old to learn so good to hear from you keep up the good work it is a blessing to me to hear from you
    Love to all


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25