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Culture shock!!? Hard to fit in/difficult??


HouseInOz
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Dear All

I have lived in China for quite a while, lets say more than two years. Obviously I have been to Oz for a long enough time to be able to add my 2cents worth. And yes, born and bred South African.

Living in China, means:- (Amongst many good and positive things such as almost NO crime in China)

Not many people that speak English

Western food not readily available, and when available, more expensive than in Oz

Not easy to find Western style and size of clothes, shoes, things for the home, etc.

NO shops such as those in South Africa

Not many churches around

Not much TV to watch in English

English newspapers, magazines, movie houses, books, theatres, sport events not readily available

Pollution

Natural beauty not easily found closeby

Traffic that will make your heart stop

Public transport, easy if you can read Chinese characters (believe me to learn Chinese is NOT easy - it will take years to become fluent)

Getting the colour or exactly what you want in the shop, not easy, because the shop assistant do not understand English

Flying to SA means about 30 hours door to door

Compare this to what you HAVE in Oz and think again, if it is REALLY so hard. The best quote I heard, was that once you have made the decision to emigrate, stick with it, no matter what.

I hope it helps!

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Dear All

I have lived in China for quite a while, lets say more than two years. Obviously I have been to Oz for a long enough time to be able to add my 2cents worth. And yes, born and bred South African.

Living in China, means:- (Amongst many good and positive things such as almost NO crime in China)

Not many people that speak English

Western food not readily available, and when available, more expensive than in Oz

Not easy to find Western style and size of clothes, shoes, things for the home, etc.

NO shops such as those in South Africa

Not many churches around

Not much TV to watch in English

English newspapers, magazines, movie houses, books, theatres, sport events not readily available

Pollution

Natural beauty not easily found closeby

Traffic that will make your heart stop

Public transport, easy if you can read Chinese characters (believe me to learn Chinese is NOT easy - it will take years to become fluent)

Getting the colour or exactly what you want in the shop, not easy, because the shop assistant do not understand English

Flying to SA means about 30 hours door to door

Compare this to what you HAVE in Oz and think again, if it is REALLY so hard. The best quote I heard, was that once you have made the decision to emigrate, stick with it, no matter what.

I hope it helps!

HouseinOz

I can’t fault your argument, but many people come here unprepared for the differences between SA and Australia. I believe one should make people aware of this. If you go to a place like China you expect differences and prepare yourself for it. Many come here and expect heaven and Australia is not heaven, it is just a normal country. Some actually pack up and go back.

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Thanks for adding that perspective houseinoz, (it does not sound easy at all) you are correct that things are a lot easier in a country that is English speaking and that perhaps is where the problem lays, people expect it's going to be so easy to assimilate themselves in there new country and forget about the cultural differences, and when they arrive they are totally unprepared for what's hit them.

Edited by Terence.H
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Australia looks much the same as South Afrika, Australians have much the same habits as South Africans, Australians look much the same as South Africans, the Australian weather is much the same as South Africa, I could go on and on about the simularities.

HOWEVER!! This is just what throws us, things are subtally different!! I think it's just that our brains have a problem computing that fact!!

Remember our references are from our lives in South Africa, things are going to take some getting used to in our new adopted Country. The reality of living here will challenge you, maybe not in the first few months or even years, but it will, mark my words. That "Honeymoon period" everybody talks about......... actually exists!! It is after the Honeymoon that a real positive attitude is required!!

Never forget why you migrated!!

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Oh, the culture shock!

Firstly - HI NILO!! Where've you been?? Good to see you back!!

Secondly - I agree with Nilo. Things are so much the same, that you forget to "remember" you have to adapt. But things are different - and the longer you're here, the more you realise the differences.

The thing I hate most - when they don't "get" my jokes...

Just my thoughts - good luck in adjusting and good luck to HouseinOz with China. I wouldn't even try.

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The thing I hate most - when they don't "get" my jokes...

Maybe your jokes aren't that funny...

I am kidding, hopefully you got that one. :ilikeit:

It is the little differences that are challenging.

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Low Blow ChrisinBris!! :blink:

I think my jokes are extremely funny. Maybe that's the problem!!! :lol:

No - at least I'm laughing at Rove on Sunday evening's these days, so I suppose I'm adjusting. I just don't think they get "sarcasm" and "lauging and joking about the tough times". You know - the SA'ner mentality of laughing in the face of horror. :blush:

Have a good - giggly - day everyone!! :ilikeit:

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As Nilo pointed out - there are many similarities between Aus and S.A The problem is that we have no grounding points and so the subtle differences throw us all - feels just a bit off. For example growing up in S.A. wherever you came from and having gone to school and watched tv growing up - you have reference points for many things like:

-- Television - Growing up we watched things like Wielie Walie, who can forget Janice Honyeman with Bangalore Time etc We grew up with these reference points - In Aus this is diffeent with things like The Wiggles, PlaySchool etc With kids of my own I am learning a whole new world to share with my kids. my kids will sometimes talk about something from school and it will not mean anything to me or I will reference back to when I was a kid and it means nothing to them.

-- Politics - We all have some understanding of S.A. politics, but little or no reference to Aussie politics - so when you get citizenship and the first time you have to vote - this is a daunting task - who do I vote for - again no reference points or grounding.

If anybody interested - watch ABC1 on a Mon at 8h30pm - there is a 4part series on the Howard Years - Having not grown up in Aus, I found this program very interesting and fascinating. It gave me a whole new insight into some of the politics and history of Australia.

-- Geography - back in S.A. you knew the lay of the land - you knew the best way to get from east rand to west rand or how to get from Jhb to Durban - I still struggle to find my way around Melbourne after 8yrs - Not so much the city - that is pretty easy and well laid out, but the suburbs.

-- Sport - We all grew up with our heroes on both the Rugby and Cricket field, yet you come to Aus and we have no history with the heroes of sport over here other than what we may have seen on television. Having not played footy at school I dont have an affinity to the game like my son will who will grow up at school with it. A the 19th holes the blokes will talk about the past heroes and it means nothing to me. Whereas in S.A. if you talked about Naas Botha, Gysie Pienaar, Peter Kirsten, Fotheringham, Pollock, McKenzie etc These were our sporting heroes at school. We have to find new ones here in Aus.

All these things will have similarities, but will be different for all of us until you learn and find the reference point to make it meaningful to you. I think until yo get these references sorted out - everything will remain familair, but foreign and hence why people maybe dont settle as quickly as they should - Things just feel a bit off - not quite like back in S.A. I suppose this is why and how the "When Wes" came about - always referrring bcak to when we were back in ........

Rgds

Matman

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Thanks very much Matman for this response! Everybody keep on talking about the subtle differences between Australia and here in South Africa, but nobody specified what exactly those differences are. So this is very helpful!

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