Sunday, April 17, 2011

culture shock-ing (or, how i really feel about canada)

Well, two months in and it's finally starting to hit, I think. Culture shock--and hit is the wrong word entirely. It has sneaked in, is inconspicuous, is manifesting itself in ways I wouldn't have guessed (and a few ways I would have). The interesting part is that it's not directed toward the culture at all, like you might expect. I'm dealing with that fine, and while certainly there are challenges already, I'm not walking around thinking that I hate this city or I'm tired of Romanians. It's different in ways that are exciting and perplexing and sometimes frustrating, and anyway I never get tired of trying to understand it and it seems I won't run out of material anytime soon.

With recognition that I probably won't always feel this way (and certainly not consistently), here's one example of how it's happening now:

The other day I was watching Tom Brokaw explain Canada to Americans. Don't ask me why. I have no idea. And there's this part pretty close to the beginning that is talking about an inscription on the Peace Arch by the border that commemorates the treaty that ended the War of 1812, one that reads, "May these gates never be closed." And boom! All of a sudden I was tearing up, crying as Mr. Brokaw went on to describe the wonders of the Canadian wilderness. Runny nose and scrunched up face and all. May these gates never be closed!

The thing is, I don't know much about Canada other than what I was taught in school. In fact, I learned a lot from the clip I watched. I have no emotional attachment to Canada, in fact am quite indifferent. Although! Although, I will say, when I was fifteen I did write a blog about how the Canadians are really commies and Russia planned to use their border to invade the States entitled "The Sickle That Cuts the Maple Leaf." (Available to be reposted upon request.) I thought I was a pretty boss fifteen-year-old back then.

So, random little things, completely unrelated to the issue of adapting, and that's where it's manifesting itself. Next week I'll be on the metro and someone will almost fall over like they sometimes do and next thing I know I'll be weeping over how the carton of eggs they dropped broke open, and all those wasted eggs!

We'll see. How about you? Any weird (or otherwise) ways you've culture-shocked?

1 comment:

  1. Canada is my favorite. I think in my past-life I was Canadian. I'm hoping I'll get duel citizenship when I marry what will no doubt by my future Canadian husband, as I love Canadian men so much that I'm instinctively drawn to them without before I'm even aware they're from Canada! Examples: Ryan Reynolds, Joshua Jackson, Cory Monteith.