Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life Right Now

I am in the US for the summer now, and I notice that I seem to write more on my blog when I am away from Kuwait. I think that is for many reasons like starting a new job, but perhaps the biggest one is that I am just now coming out of a culture shock daze. The funny thing is I haven't experienced culture shock for the reasons that most people would expect of an American living in the Middle East. It is the day-to-day stuff that hits me most: driving, common courtesies differences, communication style differences, employee/employer expectations, etc.

It is not my intention to expound on the many ways that life has changed, is challenging or difficult, or to illustrate these points with many images of the absurdities of my life. This would only feed into the common misconception that 'they' are different from 'us' theories. What is more interesting to me is the level of acceptance and peace that I have arrived at today. Make no mistake, I am still frustrated on a daily basis about the aforementioned issues, but after the dust of the frenetic first few years has finally settled and a pattern of life has emerged and crystallized, I have to admit that there are many benefits of living in the Middle East that surpass living in the US.
And I can honestly say now that my decision to go there with my family has proved to be a good one.


بصيص said...

If you look at humans collectively as a species rather than "them and us", I think you'll find that the culture shock, which no doubt everyone in your situation would experience, is rather a shallow one.

Kuwaiti, American, Nigerian ... etc cultures are facades which fail to hide our true nature. It's more or less the same across the globe.

Carly said...

Yes, you are right, but most people, tend to fall into the 'them or us'/our tribe or not, etc. category- It is human nature. And the culture shock can be paralyzing!
I think it is very hard for most humans to realize the actual global nature of our species and frankly the provencial tendency serves its own cynical purposes.
I am just happy to be in a more positive mind frame now.

haberstr said...

Love your blog! Lived for many years in Japan but now may move, soon, to Kuwait or UAE. On your topic, I found myself capable of making decent generalizations about the Japanese, but after awhile didn't see the point, other than to make things seem more hopeless and conservative than they in fact were. People aren't automatons, just expressing their cultures; the best are always flexible, and listen; they may change, or explain why changing is not sensible from their perspective. And both sides doing that can make for great learning, friendships and fun.

Carly said...

Hello Haberstr,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving such insightful comments.
Well, if you have experienced living in a foreign country already, you may be more able to see the bright side of things here too. :) You know, I like the saying, "If I hadn't have believed it, I wouldn't have seen it." I think that pretty much sums up us as a species. You can find pluses and minuses wherever you are in life, right?
Let me know if you come to Kuwait! Best of luck.