Culture shock: sight


What is the first thing we do when we wake up? We look at our partner, we reach to the kitchen and switch on the TV, we have our window looking over the top roof of Paris or we look outside the winter fog in rural Burgundy or we just look at the range of buildings in the distant suburbs of Marseille and the sea.

Sight is a different stress to smell and sound, might be the lower type of stress but might also be the biggest. A crowd of a big city stressed workers is different to a human size level of business workers in a city of 2 million compared to that former crowd of workers of a 10 million people city. It might be Africa it might be Asia, might be Europe or might be the culture mixed Sydney crowd. There might yellow cabs, black cabs, red buses, flashy police cars. We switch from the yellow letter box of France to the red letter box of Britain. We can’t stay colour blind we have to train again our eyes with a different colour and associate it to a different meaning. Red is post office, not yellow for instance.

The flags are predominantly non tricolor, the buildings have red bricks and not white bricks. The architecture is different or it might be that there are slumps a big number of poor people or that there are not. We might also get used to a different view per-say as we get used to morning surf in Sydney during 4 years to then readapt to not having a morning breathe of fresh air to a morning indoor facing a shower or spending the morning in a crowded underground in Paris.

What can save us is the attitude of people around us. International cross-cultural adaptation involves following the trend of the welcoming country; be it cool, be cool, be it agressive uh well it is difficult to be when you are not it seems. Smile when people have more an aura type of approach or a touchy-feely approach with an eye contact rather than a straight smile.

Therefore add a new visual plus agressive people in the welcoming country, means: stay cool and respectful!

How about the feeling of a greasy holding bar in the French underground?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s