[Thoughts on the Table – 68] The Forward and Reverse Culture Shock of Relocating and Going Back

Nick Zingale

Thoughts on the Table is back after a very long absence with an autobiographical episode. Following my relocation to England, I’ve now been living in my new home for five months, settling in and getting used to the local culture and habits. In this episode, my friend and recurring guest Nick Zingale takes the lead as we discuss the so-called culture shock experienced when relocating to a different country, as well as the “reverse” culture shock of going back to one’s native land.

How do we cope with culture shock? When do we start adopting new habits? If we go back, do the acquired habits stick? Do we see our native land differently? Join us as we try to answer these and more questions while trying to break down the differences between Canada, England, and Italy.

The music in the episode is by www.purple-planet.com.


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Paolo Rigiroli

Author: Paolo Rigiroli

Now based in the UK, Paolo is an Italian who lived in Canada for nearly 18 years and blogs about Italian food and its many aberrations.

8 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 68] The Forward and Reverse Culture Shock of Relocating and Going Back”

  1. Great to talk Paolo! I thought of another example of reverse culture shock – the (mis)pronunciation of Italian-American surnames. For a while I insisted on pronouncing people’s surnames correctly, or at least relatively correctly.

    Eventually you give up when nobody knows who you are talking about!

    1. Ha! You were really trying tor restore the Italian way! I’m sure I pronounce your last name differently than how your friends would call you. It was great to talk also for me Nick! Thanks for interviewing me! 🙂

  2. Two incredible people! I am so grateful for this episode. Great honesty, and such sympathies… Thank you, gentlemen. Beautiful! And so glad to hear you back in action, Paolo. Buon lavoro!! Your fan on Etna is very happy 🙂 Ciao

  3. Great episode! It got me thinking about the cultural changes I experienced moving back to the US from Italy. Food is of course always a major factor…but it was thought-provoking in other ways as well!

  4. Bentornato al bloghisfero! Nice to have you back Paolo-and Nick. Interesting post. I will pretend I’m not shocked ? about the ‘drip’ coffee (in Canada aka ‘mangiacake caffè’). Have you seriously not been to Il Sud??? Wow! I spent a day and night in Napoli hunting down Caravaggio works before my flight home in August and I loved it! There is a unique energy there and everyone was so nice. My understanding of Dialetto Napoletano finally came in handy! Hope to see more posts soon. Ciao, Cristina

    1. Hi Cristina, thank you. I was in the south a few times as a kid, but never as an adult. It’s on my list, but I also feel somewhat intimidated by it. As for the coffee, it really grew on me – and now that I’m in England I often order a short Americano. In Italy though I switch back to espresso 🙂

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