Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - Culture shock is a strange beast

Tonight I was talking with a friend about life in Germany and said to him, "culture shock is a strange beast" and so goes the title of this post. Well, here it is. The second stage of culture shock. Yep, it's called the "Negotiation stage" where everything that is different suddenly seems very different. Things that seemed cute at first suddenly become irritating. You get homesick, frustrated and upset more easily and find yourself shutting people out at times. It's like the stages of grief in that you don't always feel everything in the exact order that they predict and you often have mini stages of all of them at times. Also, everyone experiences culture shock to varying degrees. I know I still love Germany and all the wonderful things I have experienced so far are still clear in my mind, but I have felt the reality of living here, of living abroad, of being far from the comforts of home, of feeling like I'm not making progress in my new language...all of it feels like it's in my face right now. I almost feel like I want to give up on speaking German because every time I do someone either corrects me or laughs. I want the language to be easier. I want to be able to talk to anyone about anything. I want to connect. I know I'm lucky because so many people speak my language here and there are so many great expats that I am friends with already, which helps a lot, but it is hard to feel like you are on the outside of a culture and that you can't communicate what you really want to say. I know I will not give up on German and that eventually I will see the progress I've made, but it's just one of those days, one of those weeks. It's the negotiation phase. Next stop - the adjustment phase. Really hope I don't have to wait six months for that one like Wikipedia tells me....;)

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

1. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
2. Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
3. Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
4. Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
5. Link up your post. 6. Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

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