Unculture Shock

I’ve spent the last two years working and travelling in Asia, and speaking a mixture of the local language and English to varying levels of success.  I’m now on a long-overdue visit home, and it’s the first time I have been in an English-speaking country in a long time.  I was eased into it as I had a very long journey comprising four different flights and five different cities, and it wasn’t until the fourth city that the flight crew stopped speaking Chinese (Mandarin to Hong Kong, and then Cantonese after that).

It took me a little while to stop the automatic pleasantries popping into my head in Chinese, and for a few days I kept thinking of ways to try to communicate my needs in other languages.  While it’s a bit of a relief to be able to speak plainly and be understood by strangers, it’s also quite encouraging to realise that I do manage to function in my adopted country.

Does anyone else experience a slight delay in language adjustment?  Maybe it’s another result of jet lag.