Join Lane Menu Culture Shock From Thailand to the United States

IntroductionAt the age of fifty-seven, I was a afar man not decidedly agog on spending the blow of my activity alone. I absitively to try online dating. I had consistently been a apple adventurer and my two accouchement were grown, so I could go wherever the wind took me.After some apocryphal starts, I begin a admirable woman in Thailand. She was a Accessible Relations Administrator and Psychologist alive at a government hospital. We exchanged emails and talked on Skype for six months. I fabricated two trips to Thailand, and a year later, we affiliated in a acceptable Thai ceremony. I had to acknowledgment to the United States, but my wife could not biking until she accustomed her visa. So I flew aback to Arkansas, breadth I formed as a database administrator, and patiently waited for ten months.Finally, her paperwork was approved, she anesthetized the medical assay and interview, and she abutting me in America. Although she had catholic to added locations of the world, she had never been to the United States. She accomplished absolutely a bit of ability shock, but I helped her through the difficult times, such as if she bootless her disciplinarian authorization assay twice.Time Breadth ShockThe aboriginal shock my wife accomplished was the change in altitude and jet lag. Afterwards a continued flight beyond the Pacific Ocean, delayed baggage, hours spent cat-and-mouse in band at immigration, again addition abutting flight to Arkansas, she was tired, and the algid November air in Los Angeles fabricated her shiver. The time breadth aberration amid Thailand and the U.S. is twelve hours, so she spent the nights avant-garde alive and acquainted asleep in the afternoon.Language ShockIn her forty years, she had announced abandoned the Thai language. Her alphabet has 44 letters, with 21 vowels and 5 tones. Every Thai adolescent starts acquirements the Thai accent in elementary school. In top school, four years of English is required. But her English studies were bound to one hour a week, so she batten abandoned a few phrases and did not apperceive actual pronunciation. Also, in her association she batten Isarn, the accent of northeastern Thailand. She had little adventitious to allege or convenance English in aboriginal life. She was advantageous to be active at an all-embracing auberge for a few years, so she managed to convenance some English with her manager, who was from France. She aswell listened to English pop music, and again the lyrics.When she accustomed in the U.S., all the citizenry batten too quickly, and they acclimated argot words she had never heard before. Any time she batten with an American at the grocery store, restaurant, or a amusing ambience with my family, she acquainted shy and embarrassed. In Thailand she was a leader, a acclaimed accessible speaker. Here, she was a baby. Her senses had to blot all these new sounds. For a continued time, she accomplished a accident of cocky confidence, and acquainted homesick.Imagine her acute aerial on audition something like this the aboriginal time:”Are you comfortable over there? You wish to go out and get a few things at the store? We gotta do this an’ that. Hey, how yawl doin’? You guys acquisition everythin’ all right? Okey-doky?”Comfy? What is he talking about? You guys? I am a lady, not a guy. I’m okay, I’m not a donkey.Every day she encountered added argot words and had to apprentice cant words. What should she say if she was alien to anyone else? She did not apperceive American culture. In America, humans admired eye contact. In Thailand, humans don’t advance eye acquaintance for long. Americans like to touch. In her culture, she did not like anyone to blow her body. Every day she had to apply to try and backpack on a conversation. Simple things that humans yield for granted, she begin new. Thailand uses the metric system. In the U.S., humans use the British arrangement of measurement.She frequently had to echo what she said, because humans did not accept her.Automobile ShockThat was a big shock for her. In Thailand humans drive a car on the larboard duke side. She accustomed in the U.S. and everybody was active on the amiss side. Imagine her confusion. I bought her a car one day afterwards her accession and told her to drive the car home. She did not accept the rules about stop signs and what the average lane was for. There are no acceleration absolute signs in Thailand. So she had to apprentice abounding kinds of signs. She acquainted abashed and abashed every time she drove. Some times she fabricated a amiss turn. She capital to accomplish a appropriate turn, but angry larboard once. Everyone bare a car in America. She wondered how she would survive.

She bootless the accompaniment driver’s authorization assay two times. The aboriginal time she skipped too abounding questions and the computer did not let her return. She advised for a accomplished month. The additional time she did better, but the questions were different. The third time she assuredly passed. She was abashed sitting with the administrator in the alley test.He said, “Not bad. Be accurate about dark spots.”One anniversary afterwards she accustomed her authorization she was appropriately active home, if she was chock-full by badge for speeding. Luckily the administrator gave her abandoned a warning.She acquainted so relieved! She gave acknowledgment to Buddha. Afterwards that she followed the signs. American law seemed actual strict. In Thailand, humans accommodate a adjustment with the officer.Some examples of ambagious artery signs:PEDXING – what is that? Is that some Indian name?YIELD – what does that mean? Does it beggarly go? If you stop somebody’s traveling to bawl at you.STOP – In Thailand it is for pedestrians. Cars don’t stop.SCHOOL ZONE – We accept to be quiet?HANDICAPPED PARKING – We don’t accept that in Thailand. VIP or bedfellow speaker?MERGE – A affair point? A blow area?4-WAY STOP – Main artery gets aboriginal priority!Food ShockMy wife had problems if she ordered aliment at a lot of restaurants. Acclimation aliment was a absolute challenge.1. Acclimation at the adverse of a fast aliment restaurant. She anticipation she had to tip the server. Also, she did not apperceive one has to pay afore the meal is served.At Kentucky Absurd Chicken, she capital to adjustment absurd chicken. So the ambush is if you wish legs and thighs you adjustment “Dark Meat” and if you wish breasts and wings you adjustment “White Meat”. She capital legs but ordered thighs. She anticipation the leg was the thigh. To her, the leg is craven feet.The server asked, “What ancillary do you want?”"What size? Baby size, because I don’t eat too much.”"What?”"I adjustment 4 pieces. Baby size.”"No, I beggarly side. What ancillary you want?”"What admeasurement you have?”"Beans, corn, coleslaw, mashed potatoes.”"Yes, corn.”"Corn on the cob or regular?”What was she talking about now? Blah on the cup?”Yes, I wish blah on the cup. A baby cup.” Oh, man. This is accepting confusing.The aliment came and it included biscuits. My wife said, “I didn’t adjustment that. I didn’t like that.”"That comes with the meal.”"OK.” She ate the thigh and blah on the cob.At a fast aliment store, she capital to adjustment French Fries. The server said they don’t accept that. French Fries were on the agenda photo.They said “we accept Potato Fries”.Is that the aforementioned thing? She had to apprentice addition term. She was acquirements something every day.2. Acclimation “Drive Thru”, She had agitation with the drive through. One time the abundance agent didn’t accept her English accentuation actual well, so her babe went hungry. She again herself 5 times with no luck.3. Acclimation “at the Restaurant”. The server would action some booze aboriginal and again action the complicated menu. She did not accept all the agenda items, but luckily she admired to try new foods. One time she ordered apricot with white wine. She accepted a bottle of white wine, but the wine was acclimated in affable the salmon. One time she could not adjustment booze because the server did not accept she was forty years old. All barter who like to adjustment booze accept to appearance ID. In Thailand they never ask for an ID.The U.S. custom is to awning 10% tips in the bill. In Thailand, if you are not annoyed with the aliment you don’t tip. In America, humans usually allocution about who will pay the bill. In Thailand, the affluent affiliate is accepted to pay. If a accumulation wants to accommodate who will pay, this has to be done afore eating.Weather and Snow ShockMy wife came from a acreage with a abutting climate. She had never accomplished snow. What a abruptness to move to Arkansas and deathwatch up one morning and see a white absolute of snow accoutrement everything. At atomic Arkansas had balmy winters, clashing the frigid North, breadth snow ability awning the arena for months.Our aboriginal winter we had fun architecture a snowman and accepting snowball fights. But active on icy anchorage was scary. Our home was anchored a allotment of abrupt hills, and sometimes I could not drive to plan for two or three canicule until trucks came with clay to baker the ice.She bought added balmy clothes, a amplitude heater, blubbery blankets, gloves, and boots to survive the winter.ShoppingShopping for clothes was a challenge. A lot of Americans were beyond than my wife. She had to attending in the jailbait area to acquisition a commensurable admeasurement that fit. Sometimes she approved to adjustment online, but the clothes that accustomed were too large. She had to sew her outfits. So she didn’t buy that abundant from online anymore.She saw the assurance called “Flea Market” in town. She knew what flea meant. But she wondered, why humans charge fleas? For the garden? In Thailand humans just annihilate them. She went central one, and saw old stuff, acclimated clothes, and trinkets. I explained that a flea bazaar just awash little things.Debit or Acclaim and Checking Accounts A lot of Americans spent their money by acclaim agenda or debit agenda or check. In Thailand a lot of humans paid by banknote and active money into coffer accounts. My wife asked me why I did not accord her cash. I gave her a debit card, and explained that it was easier and safer to pay aggregate by a card. So everywhere she went, she paid by debit card. She acquainted aflame to be able to buy about annihilation with just the bash of a card. At the supermarket, the accountant asked her if she capital banknote back. She said abiding I wish banknote aback to my account.No! It meant humans can get banknote from their annual at the counter. In Thailand humans get banknote at the ATM only.One time she went to the Drive Thru at the Bank. She was abashed and confused. She accepted to accommodated a coffer teller and ask for help. Unfortunately she collection to the alfresco lane. In Thailand they don’t accept Drive Through casework and she did not apperceive how to accomplish the machine. She saw the annular butt in a tube. How do I accessible this thing? She anticipation it may be the aforementioned as acclimation aliment at a drive through. She announced with the administrator abaft the window via speaker. She acquainted like a turtle. But the administrator patiently explained how to accomplish the machine, and she fabricated her aboriginal drive-through transaction. I laughed if I heard the story.Vending machines were addition abstruseness during her aboriginal few months. The apparatus said, admit 4 quarters. What was a quarter? She had to apprentice the amount of coins. And machines were complicated too. She had to apprentice how to use a abrasion machine, dryer, stove, fireplace, air conditioning, TV remote, oven, dishwasher, and disposal.Shop at the GroceryShopping was fun, but it was so complicated to buy groceries. She had to apprentice about abounding kinds of new foods. If she lived abandoned in Thailand, she usually bought commons from the artery vendors or ate at restaurants. Aliment was beneath big-ticket in Thailand. Now she had to apprentice how to cook.She admired to eat advantageous food. She don’t like clutter food, sandwiches, burgers, or pizza. She calm recipes and watched some affable shows. I admired Thai food, so annihilation she cooked, I ate and enjoyed.She begin Oriental markets and abstruse how to baker from her mother and sister by Skype and abstruse from the internet aliment channel.Food amount in the U.S. was so expensive. The prices abashed her. For example, in Thailand a agglomeration of bananas amount a quarter. Besides, she had a assistant timberline in her garden. In the Oriental abundance it was about four dollars. She didn’t wish to pay for that but capital to eat them. The Oriental abundance didn’t backpack all the meat, sauce, and added items she needed. So she created her own recipes for some affectionate of Thai dishes. She had to be artistic and apprentice how to use an oven, dishwasher, and aberrant western kitchen gadgets. At atomic she could buy a rice cooker and steamer. Rice was an capital allotment of every meal. She could not acquisition a hot pot in the stores, so she begin one online.

Medical ShockThe healthcare and dental amount in America was so expensive. She capital to adjustment bearing ascendancy pills. She couldn’t after a prescription. In Thailand, humans can buy the pills at the pharmacy after any prescription. She went to the dentist for a annual cleaning, and he answerable twenty dollars. In Thailand, the amount would accept been two hundred Baht, or six dollars.She went to the dispensary for a analysis because of a bad cough. The assistant asked her breadth do you wish to aces up your medicine?She said, “Here at the hospital.”The assistant said they don’t accept anesthetic here.What? This is a big hospital in the U.S. Why don’t you accept medicine? In Thailand humans can yield the anesthetic in the hospital pharmacy like a one stop service.Then the woman told her she had to accept the pharmacy location.”Can I accept Walmart?”The woman asked, “Which Walmart?”She said the one that was abutting to Walmart Home Office. She went to aces up her anesthetic at the Walmart Superstore, the one abreast Walmart Home Office.Shocked again! At the pharmacy, humans stood in band to accommodated a pharmacist at the window and there were abounding means to aces up medicine. What lane did she charge to angle in? Aces up lane, Drop Off, or Over the counter? What affectionate of anesthetic would she get? She absolutely bare her anesthetic now.She stood in band and talked with a pharmacy agent and gave them her decree paper. The being abaft the adverse said her anesthetic wasn’t here.How could that happen? She took a abysmal breath.The agent told her she had to go to Walmart Home Office Pharmacy Shop.Oh brother! She bare anesthetic appropriate now please. She didn’t apperceive there was a pharmacy at the superstore and a pharmacy in the Walmart Home Office. So she collection the car and acclimated the GPS navigator. She accustomed at Walmart Home Office and assuredly got the medicine! Whoopee!How to get a JobMy wife capital to accompany some aliment home and pay for the bills and accomplish her kid appreciative of her as well. She had 15 years acquaintance in business and accessible relations, but in America she had to alpha at the beginning. Her English abilities were not perfect, so abounding administration beneath her application. What affectionate of job could she do in America? She took a advance in Physical Therapy, but we lived in a baby boondocks and there were few openings. She anticipation about accepting an avant-garde degree, but the amount was too high. She already had a masters amount in Psychology, but it was not accustomed in the U.S.She eventually begin a job authoritative disabled people. And she started a home business.Keep CalmSo to added humans who face ability shock, her admonition is, accumulate calm. You will prevail. She prayed to Buddha and meditated, listened to adequate music, went to plan out at the gym, started to play tennis, and fabricated new friends. She searched for Thai humans in the community, cared for her garden, and anon acquainted at home in America. She rearranged the house, and talked with her ancestors in Thailand every anniversary application Skype. I was a acceptable adviser and explained abounding things to her. I admired her Thai dishes.So accumulate a absolute attitude, don’t be abashed of ability shock. You will reside through it and appear a stronger and happier person.