Culture Shocked In My Home Country

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I went home back to the Philippines after five years of being away. In those five years, I have adjusted and familiarized myself in Canada’s way of life. When I came back to the Philippines, a lot of things surprised me and some people would tell me, “Hoy, naa ka sa Pinas, wala sa Canada (Hey, you’re in the Philippines, not Canada)”. 

Here are four things that I can remember that made me realize how adjusted I am to my life here in Canada. 

  • Not throwing my own garbage when eating in fast food chains.One of the first things that I definitely did was go to Jollibee, my childhood favorite. The moment I came out of the airport, it was Jollibee that I first saw. After we were done eating, I was talking to my aunt and was casually gathering all my garbage into my tray. When we were leaving, I started to take my tray to throw my trash when my aunt stopped me. I was so used into throwing my own garbage that this has felt foreign to me. 
  • Using of debit/credit cards was not an option in many places. I barely carry cash and the only reason why I have some coins in my purse is for shopping carts at grocery stores. I pay almost exclusively through debit/credit or through my phone and extensively use the tap option. On my first few days, I barely went out of the house so I didn’t need money. But when we went out to buy stuff, I had to use my credit card and oh boy did they need my ID. And no tap, my beloved easy peasy payment option. I had to insert my card  like a caveman and prove to them that I am the owner of the said credit card. 
  • The traffic and lack of traffic rules was appalling. The first day I came back, I stayed by Trinoma in QC for a few hours and spent it with my family. I sat in front of the taxi and I was ready to cry. I felt like we were gonna get hit by a bus or a jeepney at any given time. The white lines were mere suggestions and signal lights were barely existent! CDO’s traffic is not as bad as QC but signal lights were still barely there. I drive all the time here in Canada but I don’t think I would be brave enough to drive in the Philippines. I’m already minor raging here when a stupid driver cuts me off but if I drive in the Philippines, I would be super mad all the time. 
  • Can’t bring my drinks inside many stores. This might be a first world problem but still a minor hassle for me. My aunt and I were in Starbucks, sipping our drinks while waiting for the mall to open. When it did, I started to stand up to get inside the mall when my aunt stopped me. “We’re going to Uniqlo”, she said. I was confused for a minute then I realized that almost all of the stores there would deny you entry if you bring foods or drinks. I was so used to being able to bring my coffee into different stores in a Canadian mall. I had to drink my coffee in one sitting because it was expensive and I don’t want to throw it away. 

Hopefully the next time I go home, I would be less shocked. 

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