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
In the weeks leading up to Semana Santa, entrepreneurs from all over Guatemala have been eagerly anticipating the explosion of local and foreign tourism that occurs in Antigua every year during the Lent celebrations. As the population rises in Antigua with each passing day, vendors flock to the city in search of potential customers. With nothing but a small pile of charcoal, a rusty grill and a slab of cast-iron, women begin preparing food in the streets. Over open fire they make fresh tortillas, grilled meats, guacamole, rice and beat-salads which they market to passers-by from the side of the road. Observing the incredible resourcefulness of Guatemalans is nothing short of impressive. Small cash businesses seem to emerge overnight as vendors flood the streets marketing heaps of textiles, elaborate rosaries, small toy sized replicas of the cucuruchos, and of course, typical Guatemalan food and candy. Continue reading
Posted in Travel
- Tagged Antigua, Catholic, Cuaresma, Cultural Event, Faith, Guatemala, Holy Week, Ingenuity, Lent, Nomad, Procession, Street Vendors, Tradition, Velacion
Part II of The First 24 Hours
* To read Part I first click here
6am or something like that
The terminal is beginning to fill with passengers who have absolutely no respect for all the bums hugging backpacks in the corner. Try to keep sleeping as I remind myself that every dollar I save is one more day of exploring the world. One more day before I have to go back to work.
View of Volcan de Agua from Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala — Karina Noriega
My body is absolutely stiff. Even just a year ago I could handle these kind of nights with more grace and flexibility. I hate to play the ‘getting old’ but I am already feeling it. My body simply does not bounce back the way it used to. It behaves as if 20 years older than my true age thanks to a lifetime of pushing my physical limits as an athlete and adrenaline enthusiast. Another reminder of why I am not putting off chasing my dreams for another moment.