Bust A Move are posts focused on what Tyler and Megan are thinking and learning before, during and after their move to another country.
Skipping the country isn’t a new thing for me.
I’ve always been unfaithful to American culture with other, more rich cultures. When I was 11, a new kid enrolled in our school. He was Japanese, and I would go to his house and love that I had to take my shoes off at the door. No one spoke English in the household, but I would just go over there and immerse myself in what I consider now my first steps to jetsetting. Even long after the family moved, I still craved the distinctly fish taste of his mom's after-school snacks, and would always leave the Piggly Wiggly disappointed upon not finding something similar on its store shelves. From then on, if there was a foreigner in town...I was for sure going to creepily invade their personal space.
The summer before high school, I went to Japan on an exchange program. I loved going to sleep to the faint music from the summer festivals. I would write down all the differences I noticed from back home. My curiously of all the buttons on the toilet set off an alarm that sent my host father running to the bathroom to check on me. And let me tell you...there's NOTHING like an budeau blunder to break down cultural barriers.
In college, I went to Germany and almost never came back. I was never homesick during my time away—returning to the US was much harder on me then leaving the country, and came home to some serious reverse culture shock. I was annoyed by the lack of recycling, consumerism and artificial everything. I missed freshly baked bread in the mornings and the lasting, authentic nature of friendships I found with people overseas.
After assimilating back into my comfortable American life, I often thought about how much more there is. I wanted to see and experience it all. I wanted to go back to my 11 year old self and absorb however much I could of each and every culture willing to share it with me. I’ve collected and spent my vacation time over the years doing just that, but with a full-time job the most I could get is a sneak peak at the cultures. But now...well now it looks like I'll finally be able to sit through the whole extraordinary show—I should probably get some fishy snack to munch on!
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