Extreme Culture Shock

I should have known from a fairly young age that I was a bit dramatic (and that the Lord would bless me with a daughter just like me – poor Graham!)

The first time I experienced culture shock I had no idea what hit me and it was thanks to a wonderful man by the name of Didi Bacon that I survived the experience and lived to tell the tale over 20 years later. 

We had lived in the UK for just 6 months in a very International community with many Americans, when I went to a British summer camp and it is there it hit….’We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto!’ The fact that we were living in a ‘miniAmerica’ had probably kept me from this realisation.

I went to summer camp with my best friend Vanessa Bacon (Didi’s sister) and became so ill all I could do was lay in bed. I remember having headaches, feeling sick at the smell of the food, having no energy and wanting to cry all the time. Above all else I wanted to go ‘home’.

Didi watched me for 24 hours or so and asked me if I wanted to call home. Back then all there was was a payphone that we fed 10 pence pieces into. We made the call. I talked to mum and dad and cried. Then Didi asked if he could talk to mum and dad. What he told them was like someone hitting a light switch in me. He told them he thought I was suffering from culture shock and that they should probably tell me that and then he would unpack that for me.

If I was 10 years old that would have made Didi somewhere around 18 years old, but his move from Zimbabwe a year before had taught him so much (as had his British Dad and Mauritius Mum).

That was all it took. A little bit of knowledge about what was wrong. Suddenly I felt 100x better. I wasn’t dying I was simply experiencing a new culture. It may have been a fairly dramatic response, but so was my first real experience of living in Britain. I have since learned that culture shock can to weird things to you!


About Angela

Coffee lover, foodie, PW, TCK, wine taster, MOPS mentor mom, Pampered Chef, wife, mom, auntie, sister, daughter...I have many labels, but the only one I let stick is Child of the King!
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2 Responses to Extreme Culture Shock

  1. Emilie R says:

    This is so true, culture shock can do strange things. 20 years after experiencing it for the first time, I’m re=experiencing it, and even though I know the fact I feel nauseous all the time, and overly tired are all part of dealing with culture shock, sometimes you need someone to point it out to you! Thanks for reminding me that this is all normal and will straighten out Ang!


  2. Em, you are awesome! 🙂 You are doing amazing things! I tell people about you all the time! Lifting you high xx


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