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  1. #21
    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. Down here you have to do the little social dance first, and there's generally not much of a sense of rush. 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.

  2. #22
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    So, being surrounded by people who flaunted their wealth and their privilege was something I never really got used to.
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

  3. #23
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    In Germany- much blunter than I am used to.
    Lol, yeah, that's also true. I spend a lot of time feeling insulted. (Some things people normally say to each other would be reserved for people you deeply dislike, in my home country)
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  4. #24
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    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.
    When I first got married, my ex complained about the same thing. He wondered why he kept getting "poor service" especially when we went out to eat. I told him people considered him rude. He was from Queens! He adapted quickly enough though.

    I've always thought the lack of extended family networks and kinship among some white Americans kind of shocking.

    Because the South isn't what it used to be, I found myself to be taken aback a little by the friendliness in Western Washington. People have no problem asking what I consider to be some pretty personal questions. It's very casual here, too. People with piercings--even in health care providers in the hospital--and what not. But they also manage to come across as rather restrained and not very direct...even passive aggressive. It can be VERY frustrating.

  5. #25
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    In Germany- much blunter than I am used to. Also much neater and more orderly.
    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Lol, yeah, that's also true. I spend a lot of time feeling insulted. (Some things people normally say to each other would be reserved for people you deeply dislike, in my home country)
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

  6. #26
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    - 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.
    - In China, it's acceptable to randomly stop, pull down you pants, and crap on the sidewalk.
    So sick!!

    Dubai was kinda expected, for some reason.

    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.
    Months ago, I watched a video of a Brazilian vlogger, who was living in the US, talking about a day when she took a bus in which she was the only white person. People were staring her like 'what do you think you're doing here?' Crazy shit. Based on what she narrated, it sounded like an informal apartheid going on.

  7. #27
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Very interesting thread! Thanks folks. I guess I haven't really been involved in many situations that involved culture shock. I've been all over the U.S., seen the differences between different regions (New York vs. South/Texas is the big one), but most of the places I've spent the most time seem to me pretty similar (Pacific coast, U.S. Western mountain states and Midwest).

    But...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    - 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.
    Wow. Where in China was this? I haven't been many places, but I have been to China, and this strikes me as extraordinarily odd. I certainly never saw anything even remotely approaching this -- for the most part, I found China very nice -- like you say... when you're in the major "international" cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, etc.) there are definitely lots of familiar things from the U.S., which feels a little strange... fly halfway around the world and seeing familiar stores wasn't what I expected. KFC and, especially in Hong Kong, 7-elevens are *everywhere*.

    A couple of things that I did notice. Pretty minor, but definitely noticeable. People seem to care much less about niceties in "public" areas. It's not like subways, etc. were dirty -- they weren't. But, for instance, when it comes to apartment buildings, the external facings were purely utilitarian, and the stairwells were concrete/cinder block with pipe handrails. Almost industrial. But then you actually go into someone's apartment, and it's gorgeously kept. Gleaming hardwood floors, tile walls, artwork, etc.

    Even more minor... people tend to drink their water hot. I had an interesting episode in a restaurant in Shanghai, where I asked for water to drink. In the U.S., it's assumed that means ice water. In China, it means hot water. Not room-temperature, but *hot* - like you'd think of hot tea, or coffee. I asked if I could have some ice in it, and the server gave me a weird look and took my glass away. She soon returned with my glass of water... with a *single* ice cube floating in it, which of course melted almost immediately. My Chinese friend (who was with us) explained to her what I wanted, and she got me a glass of ice water... but apparently (my friend explained later), she (the server) was worried that it would be too cold for me and that I wouldn't like it. Just a little anecdote I found fun. Sometimes it's the little things.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #28
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    So sick!!

    Dubai was kinda expected, for some reason.


    Months ago, I watched a video of a Brazilian vlogger, who was living in the US, talking about a day when she took a bus in which she was the only white person. People were staring her like 'what do you think you're doing here?' Crazy shit. Based on what she narrated, it sounded like an informal apartheid going on.
    LOL, wow. Where did she ride?? I rode the bus all the time in the US (I'm white) and never had any major problems. The buses were like ethnically 50-50 in my experience, and plenty of college students of all ethnicities got around this way.

    Yeah, Dubai was predictable, although they put up a pretty good campaign to make you think they're a humble God-fearing nation. I felt very deceived when I was there.

    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    Very interesting thread! Thanks folks. I guess I haven't really been involved in many situations that involved culture shock. I've been all over the U.S., seen the differences between different regions (New York vs. South/Texas is the big one), but most of the places I've spent the most time seem to me pretty similar (Pacific coast, U.S. Western mountain states and Midwest).
    Have you been to Hawaii? I found that to be kind of an exception--there's a lot of Asian influence, except that they all seem to claim being "local" (i.e., ethnically Hawaiian) and they're very openly disparaging about how us evil white people took "their" land, despite the fact that they're, like, 90% Filipino or whatever. That was a weird experience.

    Wow. Where in China was this? I haven't been many places, but I have been to China, and this strikes me as extraordinarily odd. I certainly never saw anything even remotely approaching this -- for the most part, I found China very nice -- like you say... when you're in the major "international" cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, etc.) there are definitely lots of familiar things from the U.S., which feels a little strange... fly halfway around the world and seeing familiar stores wasn't what I expected. KFC and, especially in Hong Kong, 7-elevens are *everywhere*.
    You must have spent a lot of time in the international cities then! I imagine there's significantly less of that there. I was located in Jining, an city in Shandong province, the industrial heartland of the country. I saw it plenty of times, especially with kids.

    I think KFC was the only international thing I saw there, btw. It was "real" China.

    A couple of things that I did notice. Pretty minor, but definitely noticeable. People seem to care much less about niceties in "public" areas. It's not like subways, etc. were dirty -- they weren't. But, for instance, when it comes to apartment buildings, the external facings were purely utilitarian, and the stairwells were concrete/cinder block with pipe handrails. Almost industrial. But then you actually go into someone's apartment, and it's gorgeously kept. Gleaming hardwood floors, tile walls, artwork, etc.

    Even more minor... people tend to drink their water hot. I had an interesting episode in a restaurant in Shanghai, where I asked for water to drink. In the U.S., it's assumed that means ice water. In China, it means hot water. Not room-temperature, but *hot* - like you'd think of hot tea, or coffee. I asked if I could have some ice in it, and the server gave me a weird look and took my glass away. She soon returned with my glass of water... with a *single* ice cube floating in it, which of course melted almost immediately. My Chinese friend (who was with us) explained to her what I wanted, and she got me a glass of ice water... but apparently (my friend explained later), she (the server) was worried that it would be too cold for me and that I wouldn't like it. Just a little anecdote I found fun. Sometimes it's the little things.
    Yeah, they drink the water hot there. I was under the impression that it comes from a) a cheap remedy for easing colds and b) the necessity to boil water. It's considered good form. I think you can ask for water from the cooler, though, and if all else fails, just leave it to cool on its own.

    I was also extremely pleased to eat jellyfish there.

  9. #29
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    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. Down here you have to do the little social dance first, and there's generally not much of a sense of rush. 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.
    Oh my, your poor grandmother. Having lived my entire life in the Upper midwest, 6 weeks in Mississippi was a culture shock. It was Oxford and this was probably the best location for me but I don't think I would have done well for much longer and definitely not outside of a city (even though Oxford isn't a big city as big cities go). Lovely old architecture, great food, lots to do but yes the service was very slow in comparison to up north. I have visited other places in the south and Mississippi felt different, especially when we got into smaller towns. I did get tired of people asking what we do with all the snow, how do we stand the cold and hearing we talk too fast.

    Incidentally, my husband could have taken a job in Saudi Arabia for a couple years. Yeah...no. I simply don't have the patience to deal with that at this stage in my life.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  10. #30
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    Living in DC was a little bit of a shock.

    EDIT - England as well.

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