Comments on: Let the Culture Shock Begin Tue, 08 Dec 2009 13:28:37 +0000 hourly 1 By: heidi Sat, 24 Feb 2007 03:41:33 +0000 a few tidbits left by the fly on the wall of crosscultural conscience:

– one good neighborhood shopkeeper is worth their weight in gold, especially if she takes you under her wing (remember audeli in otoro?)

– one day, or word, or familiar landmark at a time, okay?

– one standing date (tea every monday with [x the expat]) might be a good start to building the routine which will reduce the isolation. survival tactics and secrets of success – not to mention the all-important where-to-get-what hints that i obsessively sought – are good fodder for conversation. and once you are teaching/working, things will be less lonesome, of course…

– a notebook in your pocket is handy for picking up/decoding new words. does your employer offer you language tutelage? when i was freelance teaching in prague, there really wasn’t much impetus to learn czech because i was living with another expat and he already was plugged into the foreign subculture. when english is your bread and butter it is also hard to totally immerse yourself…

– the internet cafe fee would be worth it to get in touch with that guy (sarah’s brother?) who lives in seoul. use that connection… as soon as you can. i bet he knows the ins and outs of modern technology-enhanced korean living.

– on life without a comparably-equipped communicative outlet: get used to lots of time to reflect on all the unfinished business kicking around in your head. when so much is so utterly unfamiliar, there is a tendency for the brain to burrow inward. has that started? kind of like a wacked-out version of that vipassana meditation course – ahhh, the tranquility of sitting for hours and hours in silence. ommm.

– and from that image to one who of “she-who-can’t-seem-to-stop-talking”: madelyne dictated a letter which was sent on the 21st from gloucester to you, with lots of hugs, kisses, crayon and stickers. watch for it!

we miss you! all of us. every day. in a thousand ways. xoxoxo take care, dear.

love from here to there, up to the moon and back, a bazillion times,