I’ve heard it a thousand times and seen tons of YouTube videos about it! “When you return home from Korea, you’ll experience reverse culture shock”- and let me tell you, those people weren’t lying! Reverse culture shock is REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
So what exactly have I experienced? Has it been good or bad or ugly?
It’s been all of it. Here are a few examples:
America has food. By food I mean, America has many different cuisines available. If you want Mexican food or Indian food or good ol’ American style Chinese take out, you can probably think of a place to go and eat it right now. That’s not always the case in Korea. If you do find foreign cuisine restaurants in Korea, you probably have to pay an expensive price for it! America’s food game is strong my friends, so appreciate it!
Speaking of food- The grocery stores in America are full of delicious and healthy options and we also have Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods- stores practically dedicated to healthy eating and living.
Speaking of stores- Our stores ROCK! You might hate Wal-Mart but admit it: IT HAS EVERYTHING! In Korea, when you visit E-Mart, you can buy a camera. E-Mart, however, does not have camera bags. Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart will sell you a camera, camera bag, a Fitbit, and practially anything else you want! Hell, our dollar stores have better selections than most Korean stores!
SHOES- I have “big” feet in Korea. I haven’t had a chance to properly shoe shop in a year and a half! To come to America, go to TJ Maxx, and find shoes for 10- 20 bucks in my size was a huge shock! Needless to say, I’m enjoying my new heels and running shoes!
The cost of being healthy/access to a gym- Gyms in Korea are STUPID expensive. A nice gym with up to date equipment and classes can cost you around 200 bucks there (a month). The U.S.A. can have the same type of gym, in a larger facility, with a nice swimming pool for 40 bucks a month! I’ll let you do the math on that one…
Last but not least- I get to drive my car again and gas is cheap. No more needs to be said.
Taxes- Dear America, Please just start including the full price of an item with tax on the damn shelf! Seriously! Korea does it! It makes buying things so much easier!
Tipping- Dear America, start paying waiters/waitresses a living wage! This would eliminate the whole need for tips!
TSA- The whole going through security at the airport thing is just plain annoying. You basically need to take off all your clothing, go through a full body scanner and if you have natural hair like me-get your hair searched. The whole process is as irritating as can be. I know it’s for national security but geez!
Obesity- Listen- Some Americans are really overweight. Some Koreans are too, but you definitely notice it more in America. We have gyms, we have healthy food options, and we have 7 different kinds of apples at the grocery store! Let’s take our health seriously!
No public transportation- Korea spoiled me with $50 flights and going anywhere in the country in one hour. America doesn’t have the same system. A one way flight will cost you $200 here. Public transportation just isn’t the same (although American buses are more accessible for those with disabilities). My hometown doesn’t have any buses. And we don’t have a national high speed railway system, which are common throughout Europe and Asia (especially Japan). All this means less traveling in America for me, which is sad because our country has so much to offer.