what's so very interesting about culture shock is that it is, well, shocking. One cannot prepare for it. will it be the strange, gray money they use in this foreign land? will it be the moment that I pull out a 10p coin only to realize it's actually a quarter? it's much like the fabulous film Somewhere in Time a luscious Christopher Reeve-Jane Seymour flick about time travel that's just so 1980 and so so wonderful. it's one of the Brown family "classics" that we watched a bazillion times. each time there's a moment where Reeve's character, living in the past, sees a penny that's minted in the 70s (I know--horrifying enough as it is) and gets sucked back in time. it's pure culture shock. he's normalized the 1920s or whenever he is and then suddenly: the 70s! man, this sucks!
there's some of that when dealing with US money for me, this strange, too-thin, not nearly colorful enough money. But where it really is shocking is in, well, bathrooms. toilets flush differently, the taps come together into one, ingeniously mixing the cold and hot together, and, most surprisingly, the showers have these contraptions called, I believe, shower curtains, that one uses to block the water from going everywhere in the room. wow. that's a revelation.