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  1. #11
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Did they smell any different?
    No, they didn't. For years as I was growing up, my own mom would wash up from the sink, only taking a shower after doing yard work.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  2. #12
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    No, they didn't. For years as I was growing up, my own mom would wash up from the sink, only taking a shower after doing yard work.
    I think the American imperative of showering once a day is kind of ridiculous, unless maybe it's really hot out and we are always sweating. I think in general, people worry too much about germs. A lot of cold viruses are airborne anyway, and washing your hands for five minutes before you eat isn't going to do anything against that.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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  3. #13
    The Iron Giant
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    Not so much culture shock, but when I was in Thailand, I had to learn a bit about honoring others. When an elder approached, I was expected to greet them respectfully, and before they had the opportunity to greet me, with the proper greeting (sawadee) with the appropriate gendered suffix (khrab) as well as a wai, a slight bow with palms pressed together. But the greeting was performed without the wai when addressing anyone who was serving me, like the airline staff or anyone else. Thailand is a really relaxed culture, but I had to be on alert whenever it was likely someone I needed to show respect to might arrive.

  4. #14
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    What do you mean you don't know what "grits" are?

    One reason I probably couldn't live anywhere north of DC or west of say Tx.

  5. #15
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    I like grits. But cheese is mandatory. Otherwise GTFO.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

    Visit my Johari:
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  6. #16
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    2- If you get invited to a party, you should show up about one hour after the scheduled time. Be punctual, and there's a decent chance that you'll have to wait for the party thrower to arrive. On the bright side, there's no time no finish, and people often party until the sun shines.
    lol... I remember a nun explaining to me that on time is not just early but RUDE. Half an hour late is early and you can expect that the host or hostess may make you help set things up because you're WAY early. An hour late is properly on time.

    This was, of course, after I had arrived a good 15 minutes early to an event and was told that it wouldn't start for at least an hour

    Also I was horrified that people kept putting food on my plate and telling me that I needed to eat more... and half of the time it was potato salad, which I passionately hate but couldn't figure out a polite way to decline. I once ate 5 helpings of it just because all I really wanted was more steak but every time I went back for more steak an older lady put more potato salad on my plate without asking if I wanted it... so EVIL
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  7. #17
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    lol... I remember a nun explaining to me that on time is not just early but RUDE. Half an hour late is early and you can expect that the host or hostess may make you help set things up because you're WAY early. An hour late is properly on time.

    This was, of course, after I had arrived a good 15 minutes early to an event and was told that it wouldn't start for at least an hour


    People would wonder why you are so "early". "Does she need to leave earlier?" "Did she come just to drink for free?" Wouldn't say 'rude', but definitely not socially appropriate. Good thing is there's no pressure to arrive in time... You can show up like 2 hours+ after the 'start' and no one will find that odd.

    Also I was horrified that people kept putting food on my plate and telling me that I needed to eat more... and half of the time it was potato salad, which I passionately hate but couldn't figure out a polite way to decline. I once ate 5 helpings of it just because all I really wanted was more steak but every time I went back for more steak an older lady put more potato salad on my plate without asking if I wanted it... so EVIL
    Haha. Serving without request is common, but you can say you don't like that kind of food without social worries (as long as you eat something).

    Did you get used to 'arroz com feijão' (rice & beans)?

  8. #18
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Within my own country-French Canada is a lot more European than English Canada. More smoking, kiss kiss greetings, interactive participation at concerts, nude album cover art, strip clubs next to McDonalds or the Gap, much more arm and leg touching during conversation than would be usual in more British influenced English Canada.

    On the reserve-laid back attitude about time, very indirect communication style, more communal property, kids decided where they wanted to live, even when very young, one child often chosen to live with a grandparent while others were raised at home, radio used as central announcement place (birthday party invitees, have you seen my lost car, so and so hadn't been seen for a few days, can you pick up bingo cards on the way home). Homemade pizza sales on the radio. People getting mad if you phoned during radio bingo. Homemade tattoos and hickeys even on professionals. 6 year olds hitchhiking ( nearly everyone was related). Middle aged women having fist fights in the grocery store. Kids asking me how many people I'd fought. Lots of younger men hitting on older women. Children being very independent from young ages. Difficult to communicate and get a straight for sure answer. Different style of storytelling and of making commitments. People lay permanent claim to exes even if they weren't still dating. Gang stuff.

    In the Midwestern States- more outspoken in opinions, even with strangers. Greater patriotism. Expectation of making your needs known, rather than waiting for someone to notice. More polarized political and religious camps. Legal handguns in public. Less reserved audiences at concerts. Mexican and Black culture (not present in my part of Canada).

    In Germany- much blunter than I am used to. Also much neater and more orderly.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    I've traveled most of my life and am currently an expat. A few things I've noticed:

    - To a US kid, a British accent is almost unintelligible at first, and if you talk about your "pants" you're talking about your "underwear". To reference your outer garments covering your legs, use "trousers". Also, it's apparently creepy to say hello to a random stranger (which I wish it was in America so that I didn't have to feign social skills when random people say hello to me, actually).

    - In Italy, they really do say things like "Bene apetito" to random strangers who are eating, like a stereotype. It's great! Also, the north tends to look down on the south, and starting just south of Rome, everyone really does start getting...kinda loopy. It's more 3rd world, I guess, more ghetto, the people are more tempermental, they ride motorbikes more recklessly, etc. Or that was what I observed. There's a marked cultural difference (I actually preferred the south).

    - In Greece, they put beautiful people in the windows of restaurants and try to hide those who are grungier. So if you come in to a restaurant to eat after a day doing archaelogical work, don't expect a seat with a view. They're also paranoid about gypsies, so if you're girl wearing voluminous skirt, be prepared to be kicked out of stores. And, the steps to the acropolis are slippery as hell which no one ever seems to realize till they fall.

    - In Dubai, and perhaps other places, appearances count for everything. Guys will spend more time than girls primping. Be prepared to see people publicly abusing "racially inferior types". And if someone makes a plan with you, it's not sincere. People there say, Let's meet tomorrow and go to the mall. You think you've got a plan, and they had no intention of following through. It took me like 4 months to learn that this is just their way of expressing friendliness rather than any sign of intention. I'm not actually sure how to execute a "real" plan.

    - In China, it's acceptable to randomly stop, pull down you pants, and crap on the sidewalk. It's not acceptable to be sick, which you will be from eating the food prepared by people who don't bother to wash their hands after crapping on the sidewalk. Other than that, it's actually very American in a lot of ways that no one mentions.

    - In Southeast Asia, you have to smile all the time, and if you get pissed off, they literally shut down on you. They can't cope with it. (Weirdly, I never really got pissed off publicly UNTIL I came to Southeast Asia.) Cambodia, in particular, is very lackadaisical, and probably one of the world's best kept secrets in terms of living standards vs costs.

    - In Sri Lanka, there are few restaurants and few internet cafes for the weary traveler. Given they ended a decades long war only a couple of years ago, I suppose this is forgiveable. Everyone is insanely helpful around Colombo, never fear getting lost. Their way of managing public transport is to pack everyone onto a bus like cattle (I think it's the same in India). It's a hard way to travel, but you'll never be refused passage on a bus due to "overcrowding". It's also one of the few places in the tropics that grows strawberries.

    - In Thailand...well, I've got absolutely nothing positive to say about that place. Be prepared to be ripped off and sneered at every step of the way is all. I generally fall in love with the places I travel to, but Thailand is a rare exception. That's worse than culture shock.

    OK, well, as usual, I probably just made that sound way more negative than intended, but those are some of the lil idiosyncracies I've noticed about some places I've traveled. I guess it's not "culture shock" per se, but some tidbits.

    Something else I've noticed is that traveling by bus is different in absolutely every country I've ever been in. Even in something as simple as getting on a bus, there are extreme and detailed procedures and social rules. Like, for something so simple, they always manage to think of a new way to do it. Every single time. It's like one of those "diversity hotspots" or something. Bus travel.

    Air travel is fairly uniform, except security is far more paranoid in America than it is even in war torn regions elsewhere. I find this weirdly ironic, and hilarious.

  10. #20
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    When I moved to Finland, the biggest "culture shock" I experienced actually had little to do with interaction and far more to do with the rhythm of life. Because of the extreme latitude, there is great variation in the length of the day. I moved there in the middle of winter, when the sun rose around 10:30 and set around 3:30. It was extraordinarily difficult to adjust to that rhythm and so my interactions were thrown off as a result. I went to the grocery store every day after school just so I wouldn't immediately come home and sleep. However, come spring, I was waking up at 4 AM and taking early morning jogs just like everyone else.

    My poor grandmother - ISTJ 1w2 - just moved to the Southern USA after living her whole life in lower New York. Her first complaint regarding dinner service at her assisted living home: they're so nice, but they took forever! The pace down here is like that. People are more brusque up North but also more direct with providing you whatever you're there for. Less beating around the bush. Down here you have to do the little social dance first. It can be comfortable and pleasing if you're feeling friendly, and it's just routine if you're used to it, but it can be frustrating when you're in a hurry or not feeling talkative - or if you've lived most of your life in and around New York City.

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