Welcome to Culture Shock! The new series that named itself. Join us as we learn, grow and share all about new found social/cultural behaviours and expectations through our world exploration. These are our thoughts, observations and lessons on respecting and behaving in a foreign culture that may just leave you laughing and crying at the same time.
For those of you who have not yet experienced the shear adventure brought to you by ‘the squat toilet,’ allow me to paint the picture for you.
I entered a restroom stall outside a temple in Lukang, Taiwan and in that moment, much to my horror, I was slapped with a very dark reality. Western style toilets were a thing of the past with my homeland, Canada, now at the other end of the world. While I had managed to avoid encounters with a ‘squat toilet’ throughout my first week in Asia, mainly Hong Kong, it was now time to accept the unavoidable truth. Long gone were the days I had sat comfortably in the middle of the night after staggering all clumsy and groggy to my porcelain throne. Going forward I would be expected to bend my knees and hover over a hole in the ground. Continue reading
Posted in Travel
- Tagged Asia, China, Culture, Culture Shock, Hong Kong, Nomad, Squat toilet, taiwan, Toilets, Travel Like a Local, Travel skills, Travel tips, Travel Tuesday
Welcome to the new series that basically named itself! We’ve just landed in a new continent that is about to challenge us in completely new ways. Some will undoubtedly be intriguing and funny little things we’ll have to adjust to. Others will surely be frustrating or beyond comprehension. Finally, there will be cringe-worthy moments certain to have us questioning why we ever left the comforts of home in the first place.
Each article in the series is intended to be an opportunity to learn, grow and share. It is our collection of observations and information from the different cultures we visit from our subjective anthropological perspective. We never intend to shame or shed negativity on anyone else’s way of life. Wherever we can, we will do our best to understand and explain how to respect and behave in a given place. Though sometimes, we may only be able to share on what NOT to do, as we figure out life as a local through our embarrassing mistakes and faux paus moments.
Pandamonium! Arriving in Hong Kong — Karina’s Extraordinary Life
Culture Shock! And The Sorry Complex
To kick off the series I definitely want to poke fun at one of the most famous stereotypes we deal with as Canadians. Most have heard the jokes, especially if you watch ‘How I Met Your Mother’, about how apologetic Canadian culture is. That’s saying it nicely I guess. Most jokes state that you could punch a Canadian in the face and spill their beer and said Canadian would apologize for running into your hand and offer to buy you a drink! I’d be willing to bet that has never happened, but to a certain degree, absolutely, we apologize for everything. It’s more of a reflex than a heartfelt “I’m sorry”, and most of us may not even think about it, but that absence of acknowledging that you may have possibly, in some minor way bothered, obstructed, touched or dismissed another person has become a very loud silence since we arrived in Hong Kong. Not once have I been apologized to for anything here! Not even when the airline lost my bags!
Posted in Travel
- Tagged Asia, blog, Canadian, China, Culture, Culture Shock, Hong Kong, Sorry, Stereotypes, Tradition, Travel, Travel tips, Travel Tuesday