There have been multiple little bits of culture shock here and there with our great move. Here are just a few:
-Nearly everyone is SUPER nice. We’ve gone to ONE establishment where the people working weren’t super nice, friendly, and helpful.
-People all say thank you to the bus drivers. Seriously. It’s awkward if someone doesn’t say thank you.
-There’s Gluten-Free food EVERYWHERE. We’ve been to maybe two places that didn’t have GF food/bread options and alternatives.
-There are lots of bugs around that people just think of as normal nuisances of every day life. It’s gross. I’m not prepared for this.
-We live on an alley. Every night/early morning, the restaurant/bars dump their bottles into the dumpsters out back. A trash truck comes by 7:30 each and every day to empty said dumpsters. It’s special.
-We drive 30 minutes to church. I’ve never driven more than 10. Besides the grocery store and errands, church is the only other place we drive.
-We’ve gotten gas once since we got here a month ago, and the tank is just under half full.
-I no longer primarily hang out with believers. This is not bad, just different. We simply haven’t had time to make church friends yet, but some other people in my cohort go to the same church we’re pretty sure will become home.
-It is odd here to not enjoy multiple outside sports. Most people do all the things Mike likes doing. I’m glad. He can find friends to do them with him, and I can stay home and watch a movie and crochet/knit more scarves. 😉
-I have a new group of friends to go out with every Friday night. Not sure how long that will last, but it’s nice to have a standing date.
-My “work” hours are primarily spent staring at my computer screen. It’s odd. I’ve never sat this much in my life. Sometimes I read standing up to help my poor hip flexors.
-I’m learning to be slower to speak and quicker to think. This is not a new lesson, but one I’ve been learning my whole life.
And one of the most odd elements of culture shock…I now have this on my kitchen counter:
Yes. It’s a tiny trash can for any compostable materials. Boulder is attempting to be a trash free city by 2014, which means they make fewer and fewer things out of material that cannot either be recycled or composted. However, the odd thing is that things I at least thought were recyclable in California are not recyclable here. For instance, a paper towel that you had a piece of food sitting on and now has some grease is no longer recyclable. It is now compostable. “Plastic” cups and plasticware that you think are recyclable are actually made out of corn, and therefore, compostable. To-go boxes from restaurants are all made out of recycled paper, but you don’t recycle them. You compost them because they have food matter on them. You see that I have a little flyer taped to my compost can. This is because the sorting of trash here is ridiculous. I have to study these papers before I know where to put things. All trash receptacles are labeled with signs in Boulder, including the ones in my home.