With only a week of down time between my return from Jordan and my trip to Turkey, I’ve only had enough time to break every rule in the book when it comes to cultural acclimation and coping with culture shock.
1. Process, process, process: the fact that even now, one week into my deployment, I am just having time to get this long overdue post up says more than enough for how the processing is going.
2. Spend time enjoying your own culture: I never made it to an American theater, and my first opportunity to have a good steak came at the chow hall in Iraq, and I never had the opportunity to indulge in an iconic slice of American apple pie.
3. Be patient with yourself: the military has never been excused of being patient with anyone, much less letting its members make time to pamper themselves as they readjust to all the excesses and glamour of Western culture. I was back at work Monday morning getting my hair cut back to military standards and in the office catching up on paperwork and the innumerable e-mails flooding my inbox.
Still, despite not having time for the experts’ modes of readjusting, I’ve made it safely to Turkey and am immersed in the interesting and eclectic culture of the United States military forces overseas. The next few months I’ll be blogging on my experiences on the front and middle lines, on the history and culture of Turkey, the interesting and sometimes humorous (and other times tense) relationship between foreign nationals and American G.I.’s, and on any questions or issues you, the reader, would like comments on.
I’ll be getting posts up at least twice a week (internet capabilities permitting). Feel free to post comments and questions below and I’ll do my best to get to them in a timely manner. All I ask is that you refrain from mentioning any of my personal information in your comments…it shouldn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to understand the possible consequences of overt identity disclosure in the midst of a war.