Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Symptoms of Culture Shock
  • excessive concern over cleanliness and the feeling that what is new and strange is "dirty." This could be in relation to drinking water, food, dishes, and bedding; (This explains my compulsion to clean the kitchen this morning.)
  • fear of physical contact with attendants or servants;
  • a feeling of helplessness and a desire for dependence on long-term residents of one's own nationality; (I heard a older woman with an American accent in a cafe yesterday and almost introduced myself to her.)
  • irritation over delays and other minor frustrations out of proportion to their causes;
  • delay and outright refusal to learn the language of the host country; (Chris got me a book on Aussie slang today.)
  • excessive fear of being cheated, robbed, or injured;
  • great concern over minor pains and irruptions of the skin;
  • and finally, that terrible longing to be back home, to be in familiar surroundings, to visit one's relatives, and, in general, to talk to people who really "make sense." (Amen.)
I wonder if I could add "avoids speaking in public" to that list, because I found that I'm overly conscious of my American accent all of a sudden and don't want to deal with talking to people who don't know me.

Silver Lining
But it's not all so bad. The other day Hans took me into the city for a wonderful sushi lunch. Then we walked to the Queensland Museum and played with the predators exhibit and the hands-on Sciencentre display. And then we went to see Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which was extremely cute and made me happy.


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