Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Symptoms of Chronic Peace Corps Withdrawal

An interesting topic related to being a Peace Corps volunteer is:

  • How does it feel to be a returning Peace Corps volunteer?

I have read about the strange and unexpected reactions people have upon returning to the States. The following list is taken from a Peace Corps "Completion of Service" manual. It describes some common reactions and feelings experienced by returning Peace Corps volunteers.

Fifteen Symptoms of Chronic Peace Corps Withdrawal

  1. Guilty feelings about your indulgent lifestyle.
  2. Salivating when you hear poly-rhythmic music.
  3. Decorating more than two rooms of your house with host country memorabilia.
  4. The desire to do everything outdoors.
  5. Confusion between "immediately" and "by next week".
  6. Greetings exceeding three sentences or eight seconds.
  7. Making deprecating comments about American beer.
  8. Subscribing to magazines normally found only in libraries.
  9. Anxiety induced insomnia from lack of mosquito net in bedroom.
  10. A fixation with ethnic restaurants.
  11. Feeling nostalgic when your commuter bus is filled to over capacity.
  12. Involuntarily using foreign swear words and interjections.
  13. The inability to use the left hand when making cash transactions.
  14. Reaching for the pepper before the salt.
  15. Considering yourself better informed about third world countries than top level state department officials.


Kate said...

Those are interesting. My friends who I met when studying in London and I talk a lot about feelings of withdrawal and the random things that make you miss being abroad.

Daniel said...

Funny and truthful list that after reading made me realize I have done a few of these things after being abroad for an extended period. American beer is tasting worse and worse every time I leave this place.

Chris said...

This is gorgeous!