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Culture Shock and Coca-cola
"Com licença." I say to some one before I realize I'm no longer in Brazil. I repeat my "Excuse me" in English while my face gets a look of embarrassment on it. I then moved on and reminded myself that I was back in the U. S. and that I need to speak English. As I continued to walk through the store I marveled at the fact that everything was in English.
I had just spent 4 years of my teenage life in Brazil and since Northern Brazil is considered a third world country and the U. S. is considered a first world country I was experiencing culture shock.
Some people are not that effected by culture shock, but others are. I am one of the ones who is affected by culture shock, but not in the way most people would suspect. When I travel around I don't get all flustered like some people do, but instead I love to experience the differences. Culture shock for me is the "shocking" or excited feeling that I get when I get to experience other peoples worlds.
Through my culture shock experiences I have learned a few things.
1. Never concentrate on the bad things you experience or you will not have any fun.
2. Go out and walk through the open markets. The vender's in the open markets tend to be selling hand crafted item's that you will only find in that one country.
3. Try the food. Just because food looks strange or has a weird name does not mean it taste horrible.
4. Try to learn their language. People of any country like it when someone who doesn't know their language try to speak using words from the language they don't know.
5. Try their Coca-cola because it taste different in each country.
But out of all of these the most important thing that I have discovered, as I have traveled around, is that culture shock can be like Coca-cola. You may be thinking "how do those two go together?". As I have travailed around I have noticed that a lot of countries look similar on the surface. But if you actually explore them you find out that every single country is different and no two are the same. They each have their own flavor of foods, their own way of talking in normal speech and in slang. Different hair styles, clothing styles. Even their Coca-cola tastes different.
So just like Coca-cola looks the same but is different, different cultures make look the same but are completely different. From now on when you're out exploring other places remember how Coca-cola and culture shock are alike. Try to experience the exciting side of culture shock, don't just sit around and do nothing. Remember, a new country can look the same on the outside, but be very different on the inside. Just like Coca-cola.