Tuesday, January 15, 2013

America Vs. World

I keep stumbling across little differences, that tend to upset me haha! For example, in the grocery store yesterday, I had to explain to the woman working what salsa was...yes, salsa. I never thought I'd have to explain salsa! Haha! Grocery shopping is one of the most difficult things still, because everything might as well be in a different language because I have no idea what it is (unless it's something obvious like carrots or apples haha). At home, I usually take a long time grocery shopping because I can enjoy it. Well it takes even longer here because I have no idea what I'm doing and it's stressful. It sounds stupid, but I really do not look forward to grocery shopping here! Or really interacting with locals too much. I find that they aren't very friendly, which also makes me resentful because I'm used to people smiling at me as I pass them on the street at home! I've heard about Europeans not being too fond of Americans, but I just thought it was a stereotype. This is something that's also making me appreciate home so much more--we are such a melting pot of different cultures and I feel like most people are very accepting of others--despite where they come from. These little things that I encounter here make me almost resentful--I guess I'm in the second stage. They say there are four stages to living in a different place, and each stage lasts different amounts of time depending on the person. The first stage is euphoria, which is excitement about everything because it's beautiful and new. The second stage is irritation and hostility. As you begin to notice more and more things that are different to you, you get frustrated. Apparently the symptoms are homesickness, withdrawal, etc. I wouldn't say I'm hostile haha but definitely irritated! I'm enjoying it here and I know this stage is temporary as I adjust! Which leads to stage three. The third stage is gradual adjustment. Your attitude towards the country and its customs improve and the cultural differences don't seem as important. As you get more comfortable, you become less isolated. I feel like I'm partially in this stage, as I become more and more confident taking the bus by myself, knowing when to get off and where I'm going. That makes me feel really good! The final stage is adaptation, when you have accepted this new way of living and feel confident in it. I know I'll make it to the final stage, maybe sooner because I'm already half way haha! I'm very blessed to be here and whenever I feel irritated or get frustrated, I remind myself that I'm living in ENGLAND! That's amazing! How many people do I know will ever get to say they've lived in a different country? Not many! So every time I have a negative thought or feeling, I will counter it with positivity, because that's what I do :) Haha! In the meantime, if you could pray for me in this stage, I would greatly appreciate it!

I'm currently inside of Starbucks, a universal thing I can appreciate :) Haha! I finally registered my card so I can start getting rewards and become a gold member this year haha! First world problems...ha! I get to watch the bachelor tonight!! Always the best part of my week haha love indulging in superficial things! Also trying out the Mission Burrito mexican place for lunch to see what Brits do with Mexican food haha! I'll update on that as it will be my only way to fill my chipotle fix while I'm here since London isn't super close. Anyways, back to working on my Shakespeare paper!

Have a wonderful day!
-K

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