The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Lost in an Endless, Featureless Limbo...

Yes, that endless, featureless vacuum called Canada. A ha ha. Just kidding, I love this country. Hockey; donuts; what more could a person want? But I do seem to be going through a bit of the old "reverse culture shock." Just to clarify, "culture shock" is the general term for the confusion and stress caused by being in a place where the most basic aspects of life (including, but not limited to, the food, interpersonal relationships, etiquette, personal space, etc. etc.) can be radically different from those you're used to. It's a real psychological phenomenon that is well-documented. "Reverse culture shock" happens when you have become somewhat used to culture B and have returned to your own home culture A. You find some things irritating or strange because they're not like you remember them. Or maybe you feel like you've changed and meanwhile everything at home has stayed irritatingly the same. Or whatever.

In my case, I wasn't away that long, so it's actually not so bad for me this time. But I have been noticing just how rude people are. You hold doors for them, and they don't even look at you or acknowledge you, let along saying "Thank you." Salespeople are rude, and seem irritated when your presence forces them to actually take your order or help you find something. Young people on the street make no attempt to move out of the way when they see you coming. 20-something guys swagger around cursing loudly, trying to see if they can get into a fight with somebody. Sigh. It's not the end of the world, I know; I just have to remember that it's always been this way and I'm a bit hyper-sensitive to it right now.

Soooo... what else is new? I've caught up with most of my friends, which is good. Again, since I was only away for a short time, it has been pretty easy to get back in the swing of things right away. I haven't missed THAT much, although everyone I know just keeps moving on with their lives! What's up with that? People getting married; people having kids; people buying houses, or getting promotions at work ... am I the only person who doesn't have any aspect of their life sorted out yet?

I guess my plan for now is to look for some work supply teaching. I have been trying to figure out where to live, and someone told me, "Just apply for jobs wherever you can, and take the first one you get. That will decide where you live." Seems pretty reasonable, I guess. I'll write again if/when I have any news worthy of reporting!


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