Happy New Year everybody !  I hope you had a good break (hopefully together with the people you love), and all ready for the year 2009. For me,  this year will mark my 13th Winter here in the UK.  Yes, it’s been quite a long time since I came, back on 1995.  For this, I thought I would write a series of blog post, which will be titled ‘Culture Shocks‘.

Just before I flew to England for the first time, I bought one book called “Culture Shock! Britain” (shown below is the new edition).

I read some pages of that book on my flight to London, and managed to learn the basic of English customs/habits/traditions.  But any time spent on reading these pages could had not prepared me for the reality I had to face when I got here.  Not even all those years I spent learning English, formally in school (taught by crap teachers),  or outside school on English Courses (of which my father insisted that I took it since I was 5).  Not even the amount of English books/novels I read, TV programs I watched, or Movies I saw (I blamed it on American TV and Hollywood).   None of these helped !  Well, ok, maybe the (American) English language courses helped, just a little bit.  But in truth, most of the knowledge I gathered were either misconceptions at best or worst, they were just simply not true.

Talking about culture shock, what a big shock I had.

The situation was not improving, when I realized that I was assigned a room in a student hall (dormitory for the Americans), where all my hall-mates were English, I mean ALL 23 of them :)  No Indonesians (or even Orientals) could be seen anywhere, at least not until a bit later.

As you probably could imagine, the first night spent together down in the common room didn’t go down very well for me.  I tried to imitate the way American college students talk and behave, just like I saw on the tv (remember party of Five?); nope, didn’t work, and that’s when I realized that the Brits didn’t like their American cousins that much, ups :)

From then on, every single day, I learn new things, be it new words, new accents, new habits, new traditions, new way of thinking, new climates; everything was new; and I enjoyed every single bits of it :)

Many things were and (still) are, let’s say, ‘different’ for me. Most of them took a ‘wee’ while for getting used to; others I simply just can’t. Some I consider good ‘improvements’ for my own betterment, though a few of them require some compromises or sometimes even a big conversion from myself to accept it.

In this series of posts, I will share with you all these so-called ‘Culture Shocks’ that I have been experiencing so far.  I will share the differences to my own culture, and how I overcame (or not) these differences.

Related Posts:

Culture Shocks #1: The Queue Starts Here

Culture Shocks #2: Do You Take Milk With Your Tea ?