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  1. #31
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    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.
    Hahaha, yeah. That would be a big chnage! I was born down South, actually, but to Northerner parents, and people still ask me if I'm "not from around here". There's a touch of xenophobia in the South - and especially pockets in the rural or Deep South - that can range from curiosity to unfriendliness and paranoia, as I'm sure you've encountered. Not that it is not present in other cultures... but it certainly has a notable flavor down here. My college suitemate, for example, who told me that since my parents were born elsewhere, this could never really be my home. I wish I'd had the insight at that point to ask how many generations back it stops "counting".

    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.
    As much as I really would like to travel in the Middle East, I'm not sure that's a cultural transition I'd be ready to make either.

  2. #32
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Take this with a pinch of salt, coming from an INTJ that is already socially awkward and don't get out much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    In Belgium, my relatives do the "air kiss" on the cheek (lips do not actually touch skin). I kept forgetting which side to start on and there were some awkward, dodge-back-and-forth moments because of that. Plus, I think it's two on each side, or maybe three, but definitely not one, and I would mess that up, too.
    I wonder if they do this in France too. My dad says his family's side is French. Huguenot apparently. And they kiss kiss, but for some reason they sometimes lips touch kiss.. eeewww. Feels like incest. I avoid them all the time. My mother's side who claims to be of German, does it too... My mother, herself, doesn't do it. My ex-in-laws did it too. I started getting paranoid when ever it was time for greeting. In the work place, nobody does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    The older relatives would get mad at us if we wanted to shower more than once or twice a week.
    Sounds like my Grandparents from my mother's side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    a) Tipping. One of the most annoying thing about travelling is sitting in a cafe/restaurant/taxi/whatever and having to work out how much to tip (or if I supposed to tip in that situation). When order something from a menu in NZ, I do so knowing that I will pay the exact amount written next to that item; NO MATHS INVOLVED. I can't tell you how often I have carefully ordered things when overseas, thinking I'm getting a good deal, only to go over my budget when the tip and/or tax is figured in. I always get distracted when calculating the exchange rate and plain forget. I just think my brain won't accept tipping as a legitimate factor in buying things.
    We have VAT now, so the tax is already included, but tipping is still considered optional here. I do tip the normal 10%, depending on the amount, mostly 10%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    c) New Zealanders tend to be overly casual about things and it tends to make people in other countries (other than Australia) uncomfortable or confused. We don't get that jandals (what we call flip flops) and shorts aren't considered all occasion dress. We don't get why walking around barefoot isn't common elsewhere. We don't get that showing up at a friends house for a coffee or a drink unannounced is frowned upon. We don't get why people are so informal and distant with strangers, when we're just chatting away to everyone we meet.
    South Africa used to be like this, I bet this is one of the reasons why so many South Africans go to New Zealand.

    When we had to meet people in the US, they insisted that we meet them at a coffee shop first. We thought that was odd, why not the home? Here we invite people to our home first time meeting them. We actually felt insulted when they didn't invite us to their home. But I understand from safety precautions and the sheer size of people living there, it makes sense... now.

    Living inside a white bubble in South Africa, of which 800'000 are white (Cape Town), there wasn't much threat and paranoia, except for the racial stereo type of "danger".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post

    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.

    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)?
    This is good to know, but I found that my ESFJ friend is always on time to go out, or when she goes to the bathroom. She always nags me about this rice and beans that her mama makes and then I get to hear how wrong mine is, since I have no clue as to how to prepare it. Interesting that you mention that it is socially acceptable to refuse food. My ESFJ bluntly refuses food, straight to my face. (She is from Brazil, North Eastern side). Showers 3 times a day, but quickly.

    She places the toilet paper in the bin, I thought that was odd. Our sewerage system can handle toilet paper, so I told her, it's ok for that.

    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.
    This is pretty common today in South Africa, especially in the rural areas. Previously disadvantaged people live like this due to circumstances.

    We have 11 different official languages in our country and so many different cultures in Cape Town. I run my self into different cultures here every day. Aparheid made sure everybody stuck "to their own kind". We are integrating more and more. For instance, the one person greets me from a Muslim background, other would be coloured, some prefer a hand shake, some don't. It's weird, I just give them the wave and smile, since I don't know how to be extroverted.

    Referring to an older coloured person here as black is an insult to them. They would associate it with the guy taking a dump next to the highway. As people get better education and can afford better conditions, cultures shift and become more "Westernised".

    1990 was a major culture shock in South Africa. So many different ethnicities kept their own culture. So to integrate then, took a lot of patience and acceptance from both sides. I had to learn that I was living inside a white minority bubble and that 80% of the population of South Africa was actually black. I rarely saw one, and if it was one, it was a poor man living like a homeless (not by choice, which I thought so at time).

    When I was in New York, I saw for the first time a black guy kissing a blond blue eyed. My jaw fell on the ground. I didn't realise the way I saw my country as normal, wasn't normal at all. Of the Eastern side of South Africa, called the Eastern Cape Province. They eat everything of the animal, including the hooves and head. That is seen as normal. In the white and coloured parts of Cape Town, it's frowned upon.

  3. #33
    Blind Guardian Haven's Avatar
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    @Southern Kross I've gotten the impression that asking kiwis for their wifi password is frowned upon.
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  4. #34
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    @Southern Kross I've gotten the impression that asking kiwis for their wifi password is frowned upon.
    We have to pay starting from 40usd for the line rental of 1mbit ADSL. Then we have to pay for the data usage per gigabyte. Works out to 3usd per GB. There are 100-150 GB packages that they call "unlimited". On mobile they call a 3GB data usage "limitless".

  5. #35
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    Southern Kross I've gotten the impression that asking kiwis for their wifi password is frowned upon.
    Why do you say that?
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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

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  6. #36
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubber View Post
    South Africa used to be like this, I bet this is one of the reasons why so many South Africans go to New Zealand.

    When we had to meet people in the US, they insisted that we meet them at a coffee shop first. We thought that was odd, why not the home? Here we invite people to our home first time meeting them. We actually felt insulted when they didn't invite us to their home. But I understand from safety precautions and the sheer size of people living there, it makes sense... now.

    Living inside a white bubble in South Africa, of which 800'000 are white (Cape Town), there wasn't much threat and paranoia, except for the racial stereo type of "danger".
    Yeah, there's a lot of white South Africans living in NZ. SAns are extremely cautious too, it's just about different things. It's hilarious how paranoid they are. Too many years living in fear of being stolen from, murdered or held up at gun point has made them incredibly "security conscious". My mum works for a SA couple and they just love sitting at home scrutinising their employees on live security footage, among other things. They couldn't believe that the shop doesn't have bars over the windows or that senior employees know the combination to the safe.

    I do think the whole South African, NZ, Aussie thing is to be a lot more open and at ease with strangers than Americans and Brits. My Auntie and Uncle once invited complete strangers to stay with them. They met some young German tourists while in another town and after having a couple of drinks together they told them if they're ever in the area, they've got a couple of spare beds. They actually did end up staying with them for 2 weeks too.
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    - Emily Bronte

  7. #37
    Blind Guardian Haven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Why do you say that?
    I've been refused a couple times, they seemed genuinely upset. it was just strange to me at first.
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  8. #38
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    I've been refused a couple times, they seemed genuinely upset. it was just strange to me at first.
    Huh. I didn't think that was a thing, but maybe it is. NZers do tend to be on pretty limited broadband plans so it's easy to go over the data limit (and end up paying through the nose for every Mb over that limit!) - perhaps that makes us stingy about it. It could just be that we're less inclined to share our internet data with others than people from other countries. Where are you from?
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  9. #39
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    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.
    Philadelphia.

    Another weird thing she mentioned is that people often refer to their friends using racial qualifiers, like 'my white friend', kinda implying that it has importance in the degree of their friendship. Basically, the premise seems to be that 'real' friends should be of the same ethnic group.

  10. #40
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    I have almost no discernible southern accent, but the words I use will occasionally give my Southern Heritage away.

    In England and DC I would love to pretend to have more of an accent when just meeting people to see how they would react.

    If they began to assume I was stupid or backward because of my accent, I would then fuck with them mercilessly.

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