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Aaron747
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Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:31 pm

So it has been a week since I've been back in the US, having relocated from Japan to Hawai'i to go back to school. Without my wife here there's been a lot of time to just think and reflect and I've realized that when busy there's simply a lot of things we never really take notice of in life. I suppose the unwritten rule about moving back to one's home country is that one inevitably finds things they missed dearly about home in equal proportion to the things that were once disliked, especially having lived somewhere like Japan in the interim. I am certainly trying to reconcile those things.

A couple of examples that may be of some interest:

Bending of rules: Americans can and will often bend rules when they are genuinely nice - especially if it will benefit another person. This doesn't happen in Japan, period, unless one is the relative of a politician or company president. I was at a supermarket the other day and didn't have the local discount card, but the checkout girl keyed in the discounts for me anyway. Never would've happened in Japan! Additionally, upon meeting me the folks renting a temporary place to me waived the security deposit. Quite sure that would never happen there either.

Use of customer's time: I'd forgotten mostly but most businesses in the US just want to get the transaction finished and get rid of you as quickly as possible. It took only 20 minutes to close on buying a new laptop the other day, and just 15 minutes to open a new bank account at a local institution. Both of those things would have been hourlong or more bureaucratic nightmares in Japan, including the reading of the warranty to the customer and a walkthrough of all account functions.

Of course there's been negative culture shock as well - again I'm reminded that some Americans, particularly young people, just don't give a damn about anything. And the appearances of things in general are not very good in public, though Honolulu has some income disparity issues that enhance this problem.

In the last week, I've encountered public toilets without working latches on the doors (not very hard to fix, come on now), teenagers making rude comments at random people as they passed at the mall, screeching tires at 1 am, guys yelling up to their girlfriend's apartment at 4 am, and the like. I realize this is a reaction to still readjusting, but is it too much to ask Americans to take some pride in how they and the things around them look and sound?

Welcome back, as they say.   
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flanker
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:31 am

Meh, there is stupid crap like that everywhere around the world.

Especially the teenagers!
 
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mbmbos
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:42 am

Can't say I've been away from the States, but there is a decided upturn in a certain behavior that leaves me flabbergasted. Namely, doing personal things in public. Eating burgers on the subway, applying makeup in coffee shops, clipping finger nails on airplanes, discussing very personal things via mobile phone on buses, discussing psychiatric visits on the elevator.

Never thought of myself as being old fashioned or modest, but doing such personal stuff in public really bothers me.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:01 am

Quoting flanker (Reply 1):

  

With that said, I've certainly experienced culture shock within the US. It's pretty much expected with a country that's so large and diverse. Even just moving from Massachusetts to California gave me some culture shock in rather unexpected ways. Seeing beer/wine/liquor aisles in supermarkets surprised me for years  

It's obviously not as intense as when I've gone on trips to India or whatever. But with trips to India, I know I'll only be there a couple weeks, then head back home. With California, this was my new home - gotta get used to it!
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KPDX
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:12 am

Crap, I even had a culture shock after moving to Texas from Oregon. 
 
sw733
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:15 am

I moved from Namibia to Kansas...shall we talk culture shock??  
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:20 am

Quoting mbmbos (Reply 2):
Can't say I've been away from the States, but there is a decided upturn in a certain behavior that leaves me flabbergasted. Namely, doing personal things in public. Eating burgers on the subway, applying makeup in coffee shops, clipping finger nails on airplanes, discussing very personal things via mobile phone on buses, discussing psychiatric visits on the elevator.

Never thought of myself as being old fashioned or modest, but doing such personal stuff in public really bothers me.

It gets worse as you get older, I can attest to that about age. The manners of the public sometimes remind me of a third world country, and I have no experiance in that area. Only what I have seen and read over the years. What I know see here in the large cities is a close as I would ever want to get to the third world. I watch people all the time, especially in public bathrooms (no jokes please), and of course people stuffing their faces in public. My favorite is people wiping their hands on their jeans after eating. Nice!   
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comorin
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:44 am

It's culture shock whenever I take the NJT train from Penn to spend a day with my friends in Jersey. I generally start panicking after about 5 hours therebefore the dreaded suggestion arrives to spend the night at their place. It's so nice and peaceful here, they say, get a break form the City! So we go to a restaurant ("We have great French restaurants just like Manhattan") but of course it's BYOB, and in bedroom country. Wow! they even stand in line line and wait for a table! After dessert (Grand Marnier Souffle) it's time to head back. Let's stop by at Asbury Park they say, Bruce used to come here! No I say, I have to get back on the last train to Penn right now...

So I get on the train that makes all local stops, and with gratitude, step out on Seventh Avenue glad to be back alive in NYC. And the night feels young again...


p.s. Apologies to NJ a.netters, it's not you, it's me!
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:32 am

Get over it.

If you live in urban environments you are always going to interact and experience large numbers of people. Some might seemingly act in strange or less then modest ways but such is life whether in America or any other culture.

I say go with the flow, and don't be surprised or bothered by much. I'm not.
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us330
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:29 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 6):
The manners of the public sometimes remind me of a third world country, and I have no experiance in that area. Only what I have seen and read over the years. What I know see here in the large cities is a close as I would ever want to get to the third world

I was travelling in SE Asia for 10 weeks, flying at least once or twice a week on budget carriers in a wide variety of countries and airports, ranging from 1st world style airports and experiences like KUL, SIN, and BKK to 3rd world style airports and experiences (Indonesian and Vietnamese domestic flights) and I can say that the chaos I experienced upon landing and trying to check in for my supposedly seamless oneworld connecting flight at SFO was easily comparable, if not worse (cause I wasn't expecting it), to the latter rather than the former.
 
ha763
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:15 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
I was at a supermarket the other day and didn't have the local discount card, but the checkout girl keyed in the discounts for me anyway

Was this at Times? This is the only place I've seen cashiers do this. At other places, others in line will offer their card.

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
I've encountered public toilets without working latches on the doors (not very hard to fix, come on now)

Many times, the repair doesn't last a day before someone breaks it again. At least there was a door on the stall. Have you been to the restrooms at a park or beach yet? No doors what so ever.

As a life-long resident of Oahu, let me know if I can be of any help to you.
 
melpax
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:59 am

Quoting mbmbos (Reply 2):
Can't say I've been away from the States, but there is a decided upturn in a certain behavior that leaves me flabbergasted. Namely, doing personal things in public. Eating burgers on the subway, applying makeup in coffee shops, clipping finger nails on airplanes, discussing very personal things via mobile phone on buses

Just be thankful that's all they're doing on public transport, at least they wern't picking a fight or shooting up drugs...

Going home on the train tonight, there was a guy sitting opposite me chowing down on some Sushi & the other morning I had a girl sit next to me doing her makeup, nothing unusual in that, although I woulsn't be eating anything smelly or messy on the train.....
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ariis
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:38 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Of course there's been negative culture shock as well - again I'm reminded that some Americans, particularly young people, just don't give a damn about anything.

I think you could easily say the same about many Japanese youngsters. So while I generally agree with you, I wouldn't count the above as a major cultural change (but of course since these are all your individual observations I am in no position to argue).
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MarSciGuy
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:28 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 3):
With that said, I've certainly experienced culture shock within the US. It's pretty much expected with a country that's so large and diverse. Even just moving from Massachusetts to California gave me some culture shock in rather unexpected ways. Seeing beer/wine/liquor aisles in supermarkets surprised me for years  

New Hampshire sells beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores as well...
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bjorn14
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:45 pm

Quoting marsciguy (Reply 13):
New Hampshire sells beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores as well...

Most of the US even sells hard liquor except on the uptight East Coast.
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cgnnrw
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:24 pm

I noticed this a few years on a trip back to the USA when American women carry on a conversation.

All their sentences end in a question:

"Yesterday I went the movies?"
"I'm going home after work?"
"I caught my boyfriend cheating on me?"
"I need to buy gas?"
"My dad died yesterda?"

Or they use that very annoying baby-like tone when they speak.

Also what really shocked me is the use of "like".

"Yesterday I like went to like the movies?"
"I'm like going home like after work"?
"I like caught my boyfriend like cheating on me?"
"I need to like buy gas like for my car?"
"My dad like died like yesterday?"
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seb146
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:45 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 14):
Quoting marsciguy (Reply 13):
New Hampshire sells beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores as well...

Most of the US even sells hard liquor except on the uptight East Coast.

Utah. That's all I have to say....

I saw an episode of Cops where they were in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The police were arresting men for exposing themselves to get beads. The cop always asked where the man is from and would that behavior be allowed in their home town. Well, I currently live north of San Francisco and lived in Portland for 10 years. The answer is: Yes. That behaior is allowed to a point. Whipping it out on Mardi Gras just to get beads? Who cares. If a man is doing it to children, then, yes, there will be major issues.

Next week, I am going to Oregon to visit my mom for a few days. She lives about 90 miles from Portland. There is a small K-Mart and a small Safeway there. A lot of things are not found there that are found in the cities. People just simply go with it until they can get to a city. Limited selections of clothes, shoes, gardening equipment, appliances, even restaurants. Places like Red Robin, Olive Garden and IHOP are treats; something they actually plan to do while they are in a city.
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sw733
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:41 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 14):
Most of the US even sells hard liquor except on the uptight East Coast.
Quoting seb146 (Reply 16):
Utah. That's all I have to say....

Kansas too. The only alcohol you can buy at grocery stores and gas stations here in Kansas is 3.2% ABV. For full strength, you must go to an actual liquor store. Most counties outlaw liquor stores being open on Sundays, or anything past 11pm.
 
csavel
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:57 am

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 14):
Quoting marsciguy (Reply 13):
New Hampshire sells beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores as well...

Most of the US even sells hard liquor except on the uptight East Coast.

It's not that the East Coast is uptight, but rather the East Coast has more powerful liquor store lobbies. New York State fought tooth and nail to stop on-line wine sales. You think it was for "the children? HAH!)

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 15):
I noticed this a few years on a trip back to the USA when American women carry on a conversation.

Drives me nuts. A woman can have a Ph.D. from Harvard but if she is under 30, she sounds like a 15 year old mall rat from Orange County CA (and she'll pronounce orange as orndj)

I have culture shock every day when I see how much New York resembles the rest of the country. Shee-it, my city used to be edgy, now it is a big McMall.
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Zentraedi
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:36 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Bending of rules: Americans can and will often bend rules when they are genuinely nice - especially if it will benefit another person. This doesn't happen in Japan, period, unless one is the relative of a politician or company president. I was at a supermarket the other day and didn't have the local discount card, but the checkout girl keyed in the discounts for me anyway. Never would've happened in Japan! Additionally, upon meeting me the folks renting a temporary place to me waived the security deposit. Quite sure that would never happen there either.

I've certainly come across that here in Japan, perhaps not at the big shops near the big stations, but in other places, yeah sure happens, especially at privately shops.

Another thing to note is that "rules" are actually broken all the time. It just works according to the 上下関係 or upper/lower relationship. Social superiors are always breaking supposedly codified "rules" yet are never held to account or kept in check by those below.

Bureaucratic apathy also causes a lot of rule bending. There have been several cases where I've pointed out mistakes, incorrect info/wrong stamps ,etc, and they've just told me not worry about it. They simply didn't want to do the paper work and were deathly afraid of having to properly note or annotate a correction. That would look bad.

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):

Use of customer's time: I'd forgotten mostly but most businesses in the US just want to get the transaction finished and get rid of you as quickly as possible. It took only 20 minutes to close on buying a new laptop the other day, and just 15 minutes to open a new bank account at a local institution. Both of those things would have been hourlong or more bureaucratic nightmares in Japan, including the reading of the warranty to the customer and a walkthrough of all account functions.

Yeah, I hate that stuff. Still, I don't blame them. I think it has to do with the mechanisms in place to handle liabilities.

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):

Of course there's been negative culture shock as well - again I'm reminded that some Americans, particularly young people, just don't give a damn about anything. And the appearances of things in general are not very good in public, though Honolulu has some income disparity issues that enhance this problem.

You mean like Japan's "Yanki" teenagers? As for appearances, take a look at Japan's drab, communist bloc architecture that you find everywhere. Venture away from Tokyo or a major station and find dilapidated government facilities all over the place.

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
In the last week, I've encountered public toilets without working latches on the doors (not very hard to fix, come on now), teenagers making rude comments at random people as they passed at the mall, screeching tires at 1 am, guys yelling up to their girlfriend's apartment at 4 am, and the like.

You've lived in Nagoya. Talk to anyone in Minato-ku, Nakagawa-ku or Nakumura-ku. Those are all everyday occurrences, especially in Minato-ku.


EDIT:
I think the "rule bending" culture of Japan needs more examination. Take medicine for example. I might take 1.5 times the recommended dosage. If I tell the average Japanese person, one with no medical background, I get an almost hysterical look of shock and horror, followed by scolding. I could even say that's the standard over the counter dosage for that particular medication in the US. Still doesn't convince them.

Yes, I've actually had people here crying, convinced I'd become a drug addict or drop dead for simply taking the American dosage of ibuprofen or acetaminophen .

Now, if I talk to my doctor or nurse friends here, they'll say it's no big deal, encourage me to take a larger dose, or directly give non-over the counter medication, telling me to use it liberally until I find the amount that works for me.

[Edited 2010-07-12 23:49:38]
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:22 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
about moving back to one's home country is that one inevitably finds things they missed dearly about home in equal proportion to the things that were once disliked, especially having lived somewhere like Japan in the interim. I am certainly trying to reconcile those things.

The more I have traveled internationally, the more I have come to appreciate life in the U.S. Sure, our cities may not be the cleanest or safest, and our people may not be the the most well-mannered or friendly, but we have many great things going for us that aren't easily apparent:

1) Incredible respect for and acceptance of diversity. Whether you are white, black, yellow, red, brown, or whatever else, you will almost always be treated as a "normal" American in a public/commercial setting - no preferential treatment or discrimination based on your race. Though several stereotypes and socio-economic barriers still persist, you see all kinds of "national" vs. foreigner discrimination in many developed counterparts in Europe and Asia. My parents enjoyed paying ridiculously high prices at the grocery store in Sardinia whilst the locals paid the "local" prices. Sardinians wouldn't be charged extortionate prices at any American supermarket I know of!

2) Incredibly low cost of living. Let's face it, because we have such an open, competitive, and large market, the prices of almost all goods - cars, gasoline, electronics, alcohol, food, designer brands, etc. - are radically lower than all of our developed counterparts. Cost of living is obviously much lower in developing countries, but remember that even in those places a Western lifestyle and name brand goods will cost far more than in the U.S.

3) Top rate educational colleges and universities. People still come from all over the world to study here, and many of them end up wanting to stay here and start their businesses or prominent careers here rather than their home countries. While our primary school system might need an overhaul, we have no problem churning out the world's finest college graduates.

4) Incredible work ethic and business innovation. Let's face it, Americans work pretty hard compared to most, and our high quality, rapid service shows for it. Any trip to Europe or Australia will require "patience" as it will take a lot longer to be served food, get the latest innovative goods, etc.

5) We have almost everything within our borders. You want world class skiing? Just head to the Rockies. World class beaches? Just check out Florida, California, or Hawaii. World class gambling? Check out Sin City. World class entertainment? Spend some time in New York City. Then there is all the natural beauty and hidden gems I cannot even begin to mention. No other country has as much to offer as we do  .

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
the appearances of things in general are not very good in public

That all depends on where you are. I have not had the pleasure of exploring Honolulu yet, but as with any major city, there are going to be beautiful well-kept parts and run-down neglected parts. Surely this is the case in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and other Japanese cities as well.

Quoting mbmbos (Reply 2):
Namely, doing personal things in public. Eating burgers on the subway, applying makeup in coffee shops

These personal things are not at all on the same level as

Quoting mbmbos (Reply 2):
clipping finger nails on airplanes, discussing very personal things via mobile phone on buses

these are! If anything, the former would be tolerable, the latter abominable!  .

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 3):
Even just moving from Massachusetts to California gave me some culture shock in rather unexpected ways.

Moving to California is culture shock for everyone, with the possible exception of those hailing from equally liberal West Coast places like Washington or Oregon  .

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 6):
The manners of the public sometimes remind me of a third world country, and I have no experiance in that area.

I suggest you visit a third world country before criticizing the American public then. I was shocked by what I saw in China (nice parts of Beijing, mind you) - farting at the table, spitting huge loogies in the streets, shoving in line (or no line whatsoever, just shoving your way to the front), cars not stopping for pedestrians, etc. Apparently the Chinese have tons of respect for their inner circle (guan xi) such as family, but no respect for outsiders/strangers. After going there, you will look at the American public in a whole new way!
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Zentraedi
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:12 am

The one thing that gets me everytime I go back to the States is the constant clamor for quantity over quality. You see it everywhere.

It especially gets me when Americans hold their food on a pedestal. Coming back to the States, I get asked how I like "real food" as opposed the "cat food" over there. The food I eat in Japan is usually of a higher standard than the bulk, over-processed, feces ridden, ammonia-washed "real food" in the States.

Another thing that bothers me is how I come across grown, adult men in the US who says things like "I don't eat vegetables. Well, maybe potatoes, but nothing green." Not only that, but they say it with pride!

WTF?!? I'm thinking, "Huh, are you 5 years old or something?"

Then there's tofu. There are lots of great dishes with tofu. In fact, lots of great dishes that contain BOTH tofu and meat. However, if I mention "tofu" outside of any metro area, I get dirty and almost hostile looks from people. WTF?
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:48 am

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 15):
I noticed this a few years on a trip back to the USA when American women carry on a conversation.

All their sentences end in a question:

"Yesterday I went the movies?"
"I'm going home after work?"
"I caught my boyfriend cheating on me?"
"I need to buy gas?"
"My dad died yesterda?"

Or they use that very annoying baby-like tone when they speak.

Also what really shocked me is the use of "like".

"Yesterday I like went to like the movies?"
"I'm like going home like after work"?
"I like caught my boyfriend like cheating on me?"
"I need to like buy gas like for my car?"
"My dad like died like yesterday?"

I f***ing HATE this! It is horrible here in southern California! It was so bad when I attended San Diego State University, even the guys talked like that! In addition to everything sounding like a question and "like" being used in every sentence, they tweak the short "A" vowel sound to something more like "awh" instead of "ah". And it often sounds like they turn many one-sylable words into two sylables! Instead of "yeah", it's "yee-awh". UGH...you can thank that stupid network E! and those dumb Kardashians for spreading it to the rest of the country.

[Edited 2010-07-14 17:49:34]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:07 am

Culture shock in my own country, France : how some people can defend and sometimes reelect the most corrupt politicians, even if convicted in a court of law.

How in a few years drivers went from always speeding to going like slugs on the road, just going at the speed limit I'm overtaking almost everyone. I'm comparing to Italy here, where they also got a lot of speed cameras, but still drive like maniacs on terrible mountain roads.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 20):
2) Incredibly low cost of living. Let's face it, because we have such an open, competitive, and large market, the prices of almost all goods - cars, gasoline, electronics, alcohol, food, designer brands, etc. - are radically lower than all of our developed counterparts. Cost of living is obviously much lower in developing countries, but remember that even in those places a Western lifestyle and name brand goods will cost far more than in the U.S.

There's one thing called VAT that we have in Europe, between 15% and 25% on anything you buy. There are also taxes on gasoline and diesel higher than in the US (up to 80% of the price paid is the tax). So it's not a question of competition or size or market, it's a choice.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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fraspotter
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:57 pm

what really gets me is at places like Wal Mart or Target or any grocery store with the shopping cart issues. I am American but was born and raised in Germany to my parents who were in the military. At many of the stores in Germany (used to at least) you would have to insert a coin as a deposit in order to unlock a shopping cart (which were chained to one another btw). When you return the cart to the stand, you get your money back. Here in the states, the parking lots are littered with carts that have not been returned. they damage cars and are very ugly to look at...  
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:05 am

Most everybody has mentioned everything I dislike about my country, and as an expatriate I can totally relate.

My main culture shock is the driving, people can't seem to be able to drive worth a damn, specially in AZ. I also hate how easy it is to get a driver's license, anybody with an IQ of 20 is able to drive and is taught that sticking obsessively to the speed limit is all it takes to drive safely. Right...    And if I had a dollar for every time I saw somebody driving while texting, yapping on the phone, eating, reading a newspaper, putting up make-up etc etc I'd be rich.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 20):

1) Incredible respect for and acceptance of diversity. Whether you are white, black, yellow, red, brown, or whatever else, you will almost always be treated as a "normal" American in a public/commercial setting - no preferential treatment or discrimination based on your race.

Affirmative action would beg to differ. And I find Americans in general to be pretty damned racist, specially post 9/11.
 
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:17 am

It always gets me how in Germany, every single thing that isn't working as expected demanded is a disaster, big news, a sign of the country going down the toilet etc. Yet we've got a stunning amount of things, services, machines and even bureacucracies that do work, but nobody ever acknowledges it, let alone takes pride in it.

We Germans are obsessed with perfection, all the way to the point of whingeing about the slightest imperfection. In some ways, that's perfect, in others, it's hell on earth.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:16 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 26):

We Germans are obsessed with perfection, all the way to the point of whingeing about the slightest imperfection. In some ways, that's perfect, in others, it's hell on earth.

Ah but thanks to that you guys make damn fine cars 
 
baroque
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:35 am

Quoting sw733 (Reply 17):
Kansas too. The only alcohol you can buy at

Phew, glad some things about Kansas have remained the same!!

I was always amused that the Wyatt Earp item from the Gunfighters set of whiskey bottles was so popular that the only place I could find one was a grog shop (as we would call it) in either Arkansas or S Missouri called "The Library". I "needed" the bottle for a colleague in Aus who had the initials E R P and who in consequence was always known as Wyatt.

Jesus, just did a bit of research on the bottle and find that Christies is selling the sets at just over $1000.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 6):
he manners of the public sometimes remind me of a third world country, and I have no experience in that area.

Well if I wanted a respectful day, I would haste me off to Indonesia. I can recommend that for respectful receptions for us oldies WarRI1.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:48 am

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 20):
I suggest you visit a third world country before criticizing the American public then

in my lifetime, I have seen enough change in the US to convince me to never, never visit a third world country. I did say that I had not visited one. There is general breakdown in manners in public here, somehow it is different than in my youth. Not a change for the good either.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:51 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 28):
Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 6):
he manners of the public sometimes remind me of a third world country, and I have no experience in that area.

Well if I wanted a respectful day, I would haste me off to Indonesia. I can recommend that for respectful receptions for us oldies WarRI1.

Now that is something I can identify with, respect for ones elders, especially now that I am one of the elders.  
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:24 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 30):
Now that is something I can identify with, respect for ones elders, especially now that I am one of the elders.

There is another effect I forgot to mention, if you go to China, they will probably add on about 20 years to yr age, so you get to be honorable elder much earlier. Back in the eighties, a group of about 15 Chinese who knew me fairly well came to a consensus that I was 74 and at the time I was 52. Who knows how old they think I am now, I hardly dare to ask. Equally, we tend to subtract 10 to 15 years from Chinese folk. And equally, they have great difficulty telling one westerner from another!!! At that meeting there were only about 17 westerners. Two of us had beards which was obviously a feature the locals could latch on to. One was German and had a black beard, and my beard was grey. But for a week, 50% of the time I was addressed with his name, and he mine - it depended who they met first. What they thought when they saw these identical folk together, I do not know.

Neither Indonesia nor China are exactly third world, but both rather different to the West. I suppose that my view of both countries is affected by familiarity with each country, or more exactly in the case of China having many professional colleagues. I think relatively few countries in the less developed parts of the world deserve the level of concern that you suggest WarRI1. PNG worries me these days, but I went to Colombia last year and while again my view was strongly affected by excellent hosts, it was hardly the reign of terror that comes over on the TV.

The nearest I can come to Aaron's problem is driving in Australian after a couple of weeks of driving in Indonesia. While Indonesian driving is certainly very selfish in most respects and extremely "interesting", it has one saving grace, other drivers try very hard not to have a collision with you. This presumably is largely because nobody has any insurance. But when you come back to Aus and make a driving error, you are quite likely to have your "civilised" fellow citizen drive into you and start the abuse where an Indonesian driver would either avoid you or stop and just smile - and you can pretty much read "bloody stupid westerner" behind the smile (or is that guilt?). No such second chances around here.
 
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RE: Culture Shock In Your Own Country

Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:49 pm

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 30):
Now that is something I can identify with, respect for ones elders, especially now that I am one of the elders.  

In general, that sounds nice, however in reality there are many elderly with very poor manners or who just don't care. I believe those people shouldn't be allowed to hide behind the whole "respect for elders" and do deserved to be called out.

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