Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Reverse Culture Shock

On my very first week of university in Zurich, I was warned that the reverse culture shock will be worse than the initial shock of moving to a foreign country. This definitely seems to be the case, for me at least. I've spent the last week or so back at home in England, (in order to attend a wedding). And it's been very bizarre being back...

When it's not raining in England, it's about to rain.

I left a relatively cool Zurich (25C) only to find that I forgotten just how bad British summers are, arriving into overcast 13C Manchester. What I found really strange, is that people speak English here, and not just any old English, but English with English accents! It took me a while to get used to not hearing passing strangers speaking German. Indeed, to begin with I found it very difficult to adjust to. Through force of habit, I thanked someone in German for letting me passed in the airport and I spent a good 10 seconds stuttering to an official, when trying to find out where I needed to go.

Finally reunited with a mug of decent tea!

I was also affected by the recent road trip I had in Germany and Poland, it felt very strange seeing cars driving on the correct side of the road again! Apart from all the weirdness of being back in Blighty, it's been great seeing my family again – and not to mention being able to eat fish and chips! British 'cuisine' may not be terribly good, but I missed it all the same. I'd say Swiss cuisine is better, but that's not all that important when you can't afford eating out!

My local, where the pints are affordable and the craic is good.

The biggest shock however, was receiving change from a tenner after buying three pints in a pub. In Zurich, you'd be happy to get one pint of beer for that and still have the shirt on your back. It's been great to be home! Having said that, 10 days has been plenty of time and I'm looking forward to spending one more month in Zurich, where hopefully, the concept of 'summer' isn't a far-fetched fantasy!

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