Monday, November 19, 2007

A Lil' Note about Culture Clashing

I'm going home in a little over a month, and as excited as I am, and as much as I've been waiting for this, I'm starting to get nervous. I'll finally be doled some perspective about the differences between here and NYC, and I have no idea what to expect.

I'm also realizing that I haven't experienced enough in the past year. Haven't even made a dent in all there is to see. I've been so busy downshifting from One of the Biggest Cities to a smaller city that I sometimes forget that there's like, a lot more than the city of Melbourne on offer. But I do try.

It's an incredibly difficult thing to motivate oneself to explore an area that, for all intents and purposes, is completely foreign. It's daunting. You relinquish the confidence of control when you decide to make such strides away from familiarity. My bff cokane has recently joined me in our respective experiences of culture shock, although unlike my kind Aussie friends and neighbs, she's not being very well received.

Her struggle with starting a new life in the Deep South has really helped put my own move into perspective. Yeah, I moved so far away I can't even visit my family without taking a dent out of my yearly salary, but I moved to my husband's home, where friends, family, and familiarity were already well-established. I haven't had to work too hard to find companionship. Awesome people are seriously everywhere. 98% of them don't even hold my Americanness against me.

While it's not all that hard for me to come up with things I love about Melbourne, I do get incredibly homesick, so it's more entertaining for me to point out how (sometimes, literally) backwards shit here is than to whine about missing my mom. And you know what? The locals here think my outsider's views are funny. They don't take offense that I bitch about the fact that despite its best efforts, David Jones is no Barney's. They're not competing, and they're not insecure.

So get a clue, BaRou: our observations about your home are sometimes just how we cope with missing our own.

4 comments:

staybeautiful said...

hey there, first time commenter, been reading for a while (like i'm calling into talk radio or some shit).

but...be careful what you wish for. i've lived overseas on two occasions, and during the longer, second stint, i got homesick, missed my friends/family/whatever, yada yada fucky fucky, and as soon as i came back to the states, all i wanted to do was get the fuck out of america.

the 'grass is always greener' cliche may apply, or it may not. who knows.

all i have to say is, no matter how much you despise a place for its big annoyances or little intricacies, and no matter how much you thought you loved home...you're going to miss melbourne.

wait, are you leaving mlb for good?

if not, ignore all this shit!

whatev...either way, enjoy. i love reading your shit-talking frenzies.

-sb

ecs said...

Ha! Thanks SB! And no, I'm not moving back for good, just a visit for the holidays.

Colleen said...

Aw, shout-outs from the future! Yes, something I remind myself about a lot is how much we hated living like eternal poor college students back home. With these moves, some things have improved, some things have declined for both of us. But like, at least we're fuckin' mixin it up! Unlike some scumbags! I don't know why I just started talking metal, but it's prob because we're so metal.

K.
B.

Kartek said...

Just wanted to give a shout out and say that your comments on cokane's latest few entries kicked ass and resulted in some much needed chuckles from me. Keep up the good work and stay safe bike riding.