SHOCKER!

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It’s difficult to classify cultural shocks, as they are very much depended on where you are coming from and what country you are living in now.

  • Women coming from Eastern Europe (Serbia, Russia) found it strange to see the free expression of the gay population and gay parades in the US or Western Europe.
  • Former residents of the US complained about bureaucracy, lack of customer service and slower pace in other different parts of the world.
  • Compared to that, expats women now living in US found the American culture too individualistic, ambitious and consumption driven, as compared to Europe.
  • In the more Latin-spirited countries (in Latin America, Miami but also France), locals seem more relax business wise. They either start their day at 10 AM or close businesses at lunch time.
  • Coming from Easter Europe to the western world, one is surprised to discover that titles, status, ranks don’t matter much here and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  • No matter where you come from, there is always the food novelty, like rabbit in beer sauce in Belgium. Who eats that?!
  • And no matter where you’re coming from, in Africa there’s always shocking the gap between the rich and poor. The gap is so large, it seems that there is almost no middle class.
  • Shock sometimes comes from different expectations. Such as, being a native English, you suddenly discover that not all the world speaks your language. Or not fully being aware of the Muslim traditions, even in an exotic island like Bali, where you are not allowed to drink alcohol, eat pork or wear a bikini. Or when you have different perception about a country, that is safe or not safe, and you meet the exact opposite situation.
  • In Asia, most of the Europeans are surprised by the “celebrity status” they are given. It’s very common to be openly stared at, or even to have strangers ask to take a picture of you solely on the basis that you are very clearly a foreigner.
  • There are also the reversed shockers, when you find out what people from your new country think about your native one. Few Chinese expats mentioned that. An interesting form of reversed shock is when you go back home, and find you don’t fit anymore.
  • Japanese culture seems to raise a lot of eyebrows from the expats. There are so many customs and rules, that one can easily loose her way around them.
  • We’ve left the funny ones for the end. Can you imagine a shagging festival? Or seeing women leaving their houses straight out of the shower, with their hair soaking wet? First only in Africa, second, a common practice in the Netherlands.


XpatGirls Staff

Xpatgirls is the hub of all expat girls around the world.

Because girls are more curious, more sensitive and let’s face it, they talk and share more!

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