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Reverse Culture Shock


desertrat

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We have all had different levels of culture shock, and probably harp endlessly to those who will listen and those who will not.

What about the other side of the coin?

An aquantaince related that while living in UK with his Thai wife, that when she first arrived, wished him

to take her and 3 children plus babe in arms to the Supermarket.

He told her that so many on a motorbike was illegal, she rounded on him and said, "You told me this was a free country !"

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My wife could not comprehend that the shops where closed on Sunday, and in week time after 6PM,

but surprised that the family doctor make house calls, even at night and on Sunday.

Even now after 33 years she don't trust that cars will stop when she step's on the zebra crossing.

also a tram or bus season card was alien to her,and find it very strange that she must put the tram ticket in a machine, and the bus had only a driver and nobody to collect the money.

Also its was strange to her that people take a walk and drink something on a terrace sitting in the sun, even the pensioners;

And people walked hand in hand and kissed in public. Once we walked in the park and an old couple in their 70's sitting on a bench hand in hand and give a kiss to each other.

In short the first years she had one culture shock after another.

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One of the more humorous stories I recently heard concerns a friend of mine who is a thai national and went on holiday to Brazil for 90 days.

When she returned she was appalled that the Brazilians spoke Portuguese blatantly all around her, without any regard for her ability to comprehend or speak back to them; at the food stalls, in the stores, on the public transportation etc. She said, they talked like she wasn't even there, and she was sure sometimes they were talking about her.

When I pointed out that the thais routinely do this to ALL foreigners, she said, "Yes, but not the same like people brazil..."

Go figure; that's thai mentality for you, then again maybe I am looking for logic where there is none.

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The things that made the most impact:-

The orderliness and level of cleanliness overall

The quality of customer service

... both of which made her subsequently feel a little embarassed about Thailand

The difficulty in buying food .... very few places and they are closed much of the time (relative to Thailand)

... and of course the prices!

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The thing my girlfriend says struck her the most about her trip to the UK was how kind and friendly to her everyone was that she met. Most of her friends and work coleagues believe that English (and Farangs in general) are untrustworthy snobs who would look down on foreigners. They had talked this up big time before her trip to the point she was worried about people looking down on her. Proved the idiots wrong though.

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anon:

cant understand kosher/ forbidden to serve shellfish/pork-- his take: 'what, you will die if u eat it?' hard to find the non kosher stuff

everyone always screaming and yelling for every little thing

endless beurocracy

people promising 'tomorrow' or 'in a little while' but not really meaning it for everything from paychecks not on time to doing something, to fixing something....

no transportation from friday afternoon until saturday night, nd not able to travel in parts of cities for same reason

war

soldiers coming home on weekends and getting care packages and general public 'spoiling' them (in thailand not same same -- and i point out that in thailand most dont do active duty in war zones)

parents doing everything (too much) for their kids, and the kids not doing almost anything (what? daughter doesnt know how to prepare dinner for us? do laundry? etc etc)

behavior of kids in school/ actions (lack of actions) of teachers (physical discipline for infractions/violent behavior in classes)

'special ed' classes and extra curicular stuff for kids, constantly

the fact that people travel everywhere when they can, day trips, hiking trips, family holidays, everyone here travels-- 'why dont people stay at home and rest'?

here drinking one beer u are considered an alcoholic/ drinking except at bars, is frowned upon

in general, i can say that he pretty much dislikes it here but puts up with it all for me since im not going anywhere too soon... its really funny that all the stuff that all the expats complain about in thailand, anon complains about in israel... same same but different i guess...

the stuff he likes: pita/hummous/ ummm, thats about it i guess.

bina

israel

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A few other ones who give her a cultural shock

Friends who meet each other on the street give 3 kisses on the cheek men and women alike.

The well maintained houses and streets in even the smallest villages.

The daily jokes and cartoons about the Royal family in TV and newspapers.

Once she saw a documentary where the Royal family went in a local pub upcountry to get a drink after a bicycle trip. The people only said hello to the king they not even stand up from the table or their bar stool.

People take a pee against the walls of a church.

Why we change to summertime and its still not dark after 11 PM.

People say please and thank you to sales people in shops and restaurant waiters.

There is a lot of nudity on TV and advertising but all waiters and waitresses are dressed polite and why so many old people drinking a beer at some terrace

Why we have so many different kind of beers

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When my wife came to Scotland for the first time, she walked out of the airport and then walked straight back in to the airport, she said, and I quote "Take me back to Thailand, it's too cold here" Once we started driving back home she couldn't believe how many cars there were on the motorway, how few pick-ups there were and she asked why there were no motorbikes. Over the next 6 months she couldn't believe how expensive everything was and she couldn't believe that there were poor farangs, oh how I laughed, and still do.

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This is not about reverse culture shock, it is just about culture shock.

I don't think he meant it literally, it was more a play on words relating to our forum...

I loved seeing the kids from my high school (spoilt elite Thai brats) going to Melbourne with me for university. Not knowing how to wash clothes or organize food for themselves after their parents left them there to fend on their own... One guy even quit before the second semester started, claimed uni was too hard but admitted to me later he couldn't stand doing house chores, I will try and find some pictures of one friends apartment. He never let us have a look at it and we always wondered why, then one day he got an eviction notice and he had to let us in to help him clean it... OMG the mess was unbelievable and he had already been cleaning it for 2 days, I mean 8 - 9 months of take away on meal wrappers on the floor and under his desk... and this kid is fat to... I seriously need to find those photos.

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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

Could that be because Farangs have more limitations in what they can or can't do workwise and stricter immigration and labour policies than Asian settlers in Europe?... Or is it that Thai people are on the whole more worldly, better educated and more adaptable to working in a foreign country then westerners working in thailand ?

Edited by Geekfreaklover
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Never mind Thai's being culture shocked by the west, what about long term Farang's going back for a holiday? I went to Australia over the new year and had to get reacquainted with filling my own petrol tank, getting the shopping done before 5:30, paying exorbitant prices when eating out and all the rest. To the day I left I still didn't trust anyone to stop for me on a pedestrian crossing.

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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

Could that be because Farangs have more limitations in what they can or can't do workwise and stricter immigration and labour policies than Asian settlers in Europe?... Or is it that Thai people are on the whole more worldly, better educated and more adaptable to working in a foreign country then westerners working in thailand ?

Haha! Seriously Heng, let's handicap Thai's trying to open a business in Canada as badly as Thailand does to foreigners and THEN see how well they do, you really see things in a strange light don't you?

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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

Have you read the foreign business act recently?

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We went to spain and she really couldn't get her head round siesta time.

Also paying at the bar there and then for each round of beer.

She also thought my family were poor as they only had a sandwich for breakfast.

Crazy Falang is all I heard all holiday.

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Ha, I found the images :o... Sorry about the bad angle, but it gives you an idea of what happens to these kids who are given everything... He actually called us after a day of trying to clean it himself... Poor job he did. He didn't want us taking photos, so I used my camera at opportune times before telling him I literally couldn't help him, the walls were ruined the carpet was ruined he got evicted the next morning...

Anyway Take a GANDER :D

post-70499-1234951166_thumb.jpg

post-70499-1234951171_thumb.jpg

post-70499-1234951176_thumb.jpg

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And thats like 9 months of mcdonalds and kfc wrappers under his desk... Never once prepared his own food.

took the wife back to Canada and while i wouldn't say she had culture shock, she was amazed at how clean the streets were, surprised to see wait staff handling their own float and loved snow and the amount of time just spent hanging out outdoors.

The only thing that truly shocked her was the sheer number of aisans in vancouver

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In the USA there is always the running joke about how nobody wants to date Asian men, except for Asian girls who are not brave/mean enough to make their father want to kill himself by screwing a white guy. Quick, name an Asian male movie star who does not do karate. Therefore, I would imagine the hiso Thais going to school in the West would feel the same sort of insecurity that old farang feel when they go home - nobody is interested in them on a physical level, as opposed to Thailand where they are the man.

Most of the stuff listed in this thread is not about culture shock as it as about your partner not being the sharpest tool in the shed. Just saying.

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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

Could that be because Farangs have more limitations in what they can or can't do workwise and stricter immigration and labour policies than Asian settlers in Europe?... Or is it that Thai people are on the whole more worldly, better educated and more adaptable to working in a foreign country then westerners working in thailand ?

Haha! Seriously Heng, let's handicap Thai's trying to open a business in Canada as badly as Thailand does to foreigners and THEN see how well they do, you really see things in a strange light don't you?

Sorry but you are wrong here. Yes, laws are easier in the West, but Asian success rates has much more to do with their strategy. First off, the are rarely a solo player, as opposed to a team. Most Asian businesses are family businesses. There is no unity in business for farang. That is how immigrants grow wealth, they stick together and save and reinvest. That is the same reason why African Americans are poor, they have very weak family units. They also tend to immigrate with the sole goal of making money, as opposed to going on holiday and falling in love with a Thai bird and then deciding to open a bagel shop/bar. There are also often already established immigration populations in the various Western cities where they can run a business, whereas farang basically have no unity or community in Thailand (besides streets of farang operated bars and pubs.

Edited by dave9988
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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

Could that be because Farangs have more limitations in what they can or can't do workwise and stricter immigration and labour policies than Asian settlers in Europe?... Or is it that Thai people are on the whole more worldly, better educated and more adaptable to working in a foreign country then westerners working in thailand ?

Not unlike humidity, drought, or cannibals, it's just another environmental condition that can be overcome.

:D

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Not too many things in the shock category as most of us travel back and forth. Um, I like that the automatic postal machines at the USPS actually work, unlike here... Is that a shocker?

Not too many Thai explorers, but if you compare plain jane Thais (and even the spoiled elite) who prosper abroad to foreigners (not counting the Chinese and Indians of course) who prosper here, it's no contest. Most foreigners give up after a relatively short struggle or spend their existence treading water here.

:o

Could that be because Farangs have more limitations in what they can or can't do workwise and stricter immigration and labour policies than Asian settlers in Europe?... Or is it that Thai people are on the whole more worldly, better educated and more adaptable to working in a foreign country then westerners working in thailand ?

Haha! Seriously Heng, let's handicap Thai's trying to open a business in Canada as badly as Thailand does to foreigners and THEN see how well they do, you really see things in a strange light don't you?

Plenty of handicaps, they simply aren't identical ones. And to both "sides," just about all of these handicaps are perfectly reasonable, depending on the light they are viewed in.

:D

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