Culture Shock! 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.
Culture Shock and the Chinese Driver
There was only a single moment where the words got caught in my throat.
“Let me out! Right effing now!”
April and I are on our way to the Longji rice terraces of northern Guanxi province in China. It’s the rainy season, hot and humid since arrival, but so far we’ve been spared any downpours on our first week in this country. That hasn’t been the case in the mountains. The potholed, winding road, barely a lane and a half wide curls between rocky cliffs and a raging river below. The pretty waterfalls all us passengers admired as our minivan first started climbing away from the highway have now turned into raging drenchers flying out of the vertical walls above us and straight onto the road. Ahead of us, a landslide caused a massive portion of the road to collapse into the river. From my back row point of view, it is clear that the remaining asphalt has no solid mountain beneath it. It is only a matter of time before it gives way completely, and we are about to drive over it. Continue reading