20 November 2013

Culture Shock

Sarah and I

Rebekah with the infamously large meal from Panda Express.

It's as big as her head!

Playing Just Dance before they crashed due to jet lag.

My sisters have grown in the last 3 months, I swear. Here a little staircase for comparison--me with 3 of my sisters, two cousins, and my uncle to help show Rebekah she's still got a bit of growing to do.


My family is here for a visit. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that's a momentous event. My family isn't the kind you get together with on Sunday afternoon after church. Visits require a lot of time, effort, and financial outlay, and they don't happen very often, so when they do happen, we make it worth it.

So, yeah, the parents and 4 little sisters are in the U.S.A. for a few months. Part of the time, they'll be living with Angel and I, and part of the time they'll be staying with other relatives.

It's been a privilege to spend some of their first few days in America with him. Listening to their reactions to everything new they encounter is hilarious. Angel stopped at a Panda Express for lunch on the way back to our house when we picked them up. They bought one meal and one pop to share for the family:

MaryGrace: "What is this?" {editor's note: It's a crab rangoon.}
Anna: "Is there tofu inside this wonton? What? It's cream cheese? Who would put cream cheese in a wonton? That's so weird!" {editor's note: Crab rangoons are very foreign.}
Dad: "This meal is gigantic! This pop is gigantic! Good thing we only got one! Who could drink and eat all of this by themselves? Well, besides Isaac or Angel?"

At the grocery store: Dad calling Mom, "Come here! Come here! Look, this ham is only $11! And they have ranch dressing! And caramel dip for apples! And sausage! And cans of stew!"
(For context, if you could find a ham of that size in Malaysia, it would probably have cost $50+. My Dad was thoroughly entertained by the foods available at Aldi's. Just wait till we take him to a large supermarket.)

We drive past a Target. Nobody was talking, but Sarah pipes up: "That store is called Target because it probably sells archery equipment."

My sister is assigned to bake cookies. She is somewhat startled by the carton of eggs found in the refrigerator:
MaryGrace: "Rachel, is it okay if I use these eggs in the cookies? They're all white."
*Sarah runs from the living room to the kitchen at high speed.*
Sarah: "Where? I want to see the white eggs! Wow!"

At a red light, turning onto the road where my dad lived for nearly 10 years.
Dad: "So, Rachel, am I allowed to turn right here?"
I'm just not used to my dad asking questions about traffic rules.

Mom: "I'm so cold!"
(We turned the heat up to 70 degrees for them, gave them blankets and space heaters and they're still freezing. What to do with these tropical island dwellers?)
They crack me up.

If you have people coming to visit you in your hometown, what do you try to do with them?
Moonofsilver said...

Such and interesting look into different cultures! Wow :P take them to the mall and I bet the clothing prices would s-h-o-c-k them. They totally still shock me....

Petro said...

A house full of girls, awesome! Our family has lots of girls and we are so fun together :)


Alicia | Jaybird: Home in Motion said...

I remember how tough it was to return to the US after being in Senegal! I absolutely had that moment of awe in the grocery store..."wait, I can buy ANY OF THESE THINGS?! How will I choose from so many things?!"

TheTinyHeart said...

Haha, they must be having culture shock here! That is so nice though that you'll get to spend quality time with them on their visit.

The Tiny Heart
Uncommon Goods Giveaway!

Allie @ Everyday Adventures said...

Love it! It kinda makes you think about things we take for granted. White eggs? lol!

Lenya said...

Thx for sharing your story Rachel. Your 'staircase' pic made me smile. So cute.

Suzanne said...

What fun! Your house must be full of life.

All the little differences that you don't notice until it is pointed out.

Enjoy your time together.


Charlene Maugeri said...

This is so funny! Your life is never dull and your family sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

Angi said...

These are hilarious!! I can only imagine how inquisitive I'd be if I moved to a foreign country. I don't think cream cheese in wontons are weird...but I do think they're very American! ;)

Patty said...

So funny! My favorites were the comments on the white eggs and Target...that's so great, you and Angel will be able to have quality time with your family!
As for doing things with people who visit your hometown, I'd say something maybe unique to the city you live in? Ooooh, take them ice skating!! That'll be a "cool" treat for your family island dwellers:)

Unknown said...

Enjoy your time with your family!

Katie Cook said...

This was so epic! I loved reading all these conversations…keep them coming! Also, so happy that you get to be with them!!!

Catherine Gacad said...

i can definitely see the family similarities! i feel so bad that they are cold on vacation.

Caroline said...

So funny! And it's so lovely to be with family - enjoy your time together!

Inge Jane said...

This is so interesting (and funny!) You take the day to day things we surround ourselves with for granted that they aren't just regular parts of everyone's daily lives.

Melissa Blake said...

These photos are great! We have a similar blue chair and i had to do a double-take at first hahaha

Anonymous said...

Fun! I love all the excitement and wonder about their observations. Out of curiosity, because I haven't been reading here long, where do your family live?

When we have family in town, we like to take to them to all the places they don't have in their hometown- or on various nature-type places. Some usual haunts are Trader Joe's, a local/sustainable farm (which is actually only rare to us as most of our relatives are surrounded by farms), locally owned restaurants and places like that.

Rachel said...

They live in Malaysia! We're planning on taking them for some outdoor ice skating this winter, because that's definitely not a part of Malaysian life!

Lauren said...

"I want to see the white eggs!" Hahahahah. Love it! I can only imagine what I would say if I ever went to visit Malaysia! I bet it's like a whole new, interesting, and awesome world!

Debbie Stinedurf said...

Those comments are hilarious! How fun to get a few months to visit with your family. I wanted you to know that based on the comment you left on the sequin top post on my blog you are my new hero, hands down!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

So sweet!

Anonymous said...

hehe, target for archery? makes sense, right -- but then who could possibly need an archery store that large? perhaps the archery is going on inside? anyway, rachel, happy for your that your family is all together right now - it takes about the same amount of effort to get my family together, so i know just how wonderful it is :) enjoy!!

Alison @ Get Your Pretty On said...

Ha ha ha! Target for archery supplies, that's just pure awesomeness. Loved the stories, your family is so cute. Enjoy every second with them!

Unknown said...

Oh that reverse culture shock! I remember doing so many similar things. I hope they have a great time bring home for so long!