I have read about reverse culture shock in my books about how to be an expatriate. I understand about grieving the place you've lost, and about wanting things to be the same. Unfortunately though, knowing what is happening doesn't make it any less painful. On the other hand, I am able to kind of observe myself with compassion and see a bigger picture. Here are some of my observations from my first day out and about (yesterday):
1. There is so much space here. I was driving at one point, and looked out the window. The suburban street I was on, appeard to be wider than the largest highway in France.
2. 40 mph is a LOT faster than 40 kph. I kept discovering myself driving under the speed limit, just because I wasn't used to going so fast.
3. Christmas/Holiday light displays are fun. They seem to get brighter and cheerier every time I see them. We went out to a special garden tour where they had amazing light sculptures.
4. It was great to be able to read all the signs, ask for information on where to park, and hear the instructions and not have to be "pretty sure" I understood. I did understand.
5. Having someone else be responsible for getting all the routines right (in a Jazzercise class) was great fun. All I had to do was follow along. High altitude whooped my behind though! Actually doing new routines with someone else leading was awesome.
6. No matter how many times I look out the window, I am not going to see the church steeple or my neighbors' trees.
7. There are no boulangeries nearby and the bread sucks.
Other than that, I'm doing okay.