Reverse Culture Shock
The first days back from a vacation can be a little surreal especially when you’ve been away for a good length of time and you’ve returned from somewhere so culturally different from your home. You may find it strange being in your own environment. Call it ‘reverse culture shock.’
Before flying back to Canada we decided to stay in Manila to acclimatize back into city living. It was a bit distressing to see so many people and cars, breathe in choking exhaust fumes and feel the stress of the city. After all, “the Chef” and I had lost ourselves in the care-free simplicity of the islands of Palawan.
After landing back in Toronto I felt as though we had entered a life warp. Things didn’t seem quite real. Toronto was too formal, too organized. Everyone drove within the lines. Everything was too grey. The sun became a fleeting figment in our imagination.
Still on a high from our trip we continued our life as if we were still on the islands. We couldn’t get Palawan out of our minds. Soon we were stocking the pantry with Filipino ingredients. I was baking calamansi squares instead of lemon squares. We had get-togethers with our friends and served Filipino food and beer. How many times have you come back from a vacation and tried to incorporate something from that culture into your real life?
These happy feelings have sustained us for almost 2 months now but reality is slowly creeping back. Our tans are fading, there’s the mortgage to pay and snow tires to change. We’re not ready to let go yet. We’re going to hang on to those feelings as long as we can.