I have to admit I don’t quite understand the timing of summer in Thailand, but it comes in March and April apparently. For this reason, those two months are time off of school, so we have a mega trip home planned.
Culture shock is a real thing, and I don’t know if it does harm or is beneficial to see the home culture without the rose-tinted glasses, but we’re looking forward to seeing familiarity and family soon.
“Culture shock” are two words I’d heard but not understood before. It’s tempting, in light of behaviour that’s different to home, to start to idealise home. A reality check is always helpful. “English people are more polite” I may start to think, and then remember the morning commute to Surrey with loads of sullen faces. Or “English people have better manners” I may start to think, and then remember the behaviour of so-called chavs in any English coastal town. Crime is almost unheard of here in Thailand, whereas I have had my car broken into once, and my windows broken a few times, in England.
Some cultural differences are just that – the culture values different things than a culture I’m more familiar with. And this realisation makes me feel much closer to my European neighbours who, we are always tempted to believe, are so different to us! They’re not!
When I get home I expect:
- Dangerous driving by a few, instead of maddeningly selfish driving by everyone
- Overt aggression instead of a complete absence of anger
- Few smiles
- Fewer scents (especially of street food)
- Familiar food, especially bread and cheese.
That list doesn’t sound big, but I think it will be quite a difference. So, does culture shock get healed by a break, or set back?