"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh Yeah! Culture Shock

They told me that I would be surprised. They said it would surprise me when I moved to a country where I speak the same language. They told me I would have culture stress. Pridefully, I inwardly laughed at their assumptions. I have lived in three cultures in Asia, for goodness sakes! How can any stress of culture surprise me?! I am a "veteran" overseas worker. Right!? I know what cross cultural work looks like. I have experienced stress of moving overseas many times before. ...so she thinks before hand. So much pride in one little person!

But, they said I would go through culture stress. Culture shock. Defined as "the stress that occurs when you change to a different way of living in a new culture. It is what you experience as you move beyond understanding the culture to making it your own so that you accept the customs, becoming comfortable and at home with them."

After my "moods" blog this morning, I looked at the symptoms of PMS online. Ah, that must be it, I thought! And, then I told my husband "Honey, I think I am having serious PMS" (which I really have never suffered greatly from in the past). I told him I was having PMS. He literally threw his head back and laughed at me. He said through the laughter, "And what do I have?!" Still laughing, he said, "I most certainly don't have PMS and I am feeling and behaving exactly as you are!".

So, I go online again this evening and find the symptoms of culture stress or shock:
--anxious feeling --sadness --moodiness and irritability --insomnia --becoming obsessive about work or school --restlessness --feeling of isolation and loneliness --intense homesickness --lowered self-esteem --concentration problems --poor work performance --preoccupation about going home --continuous fear about the people, the food, the water --increased criticism and even hatred of the local culture

The symptoms are almost identical to PMS! Seriously, though! That is too funny. Or not so funny if your are experiencing either...

Okay, so, I either am PMSing my socks off (and so is my husband)... or I am, indeed, in culture stress.

I am surprised at the level of culture stress I am experiencing. Humble pie.

They told me...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...