Living in a different culture has some days that are more challenging to go through than others. I mentioned in my previous post that I have been experiencing culture shock (it never really goes away) that seems to happen in waves.

Surprisingly, the one thing that seems to have been really comforting during this experience has been the little things I notice that remind me of things in Canada while I was growing up:

The TV music stations play music videos
Gone are the days when music stations (MuchMusic) played music videos and music-related shows (Electric Circus, anyone?). But here, they play music videos old and new. Flip through the channels and there are channels for each genre. Just yesterday I saw Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody followed by Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. It was great 🙂

Grocery shopping is a family activity
This is something that doesn’t happen so much back home anymore, but here when groceries are needed the whole family goes together. It’s actually kind of funny seeing mom, dad, kids, grandma, auntie, auntie’s kids all shopping together because it wasn’t that unusual while I was growing up. I think it may have something to do with most families had only one car so all shopping and errands were done on the one day.

Customers consume products before paying for them
This one cracks me up the most! The number of times I see people opening up a bag of chips or a can of beer and finishing it before getting to the checkout makes me LOL. It’s just funny to me to see them put a empty beer can on the conveyor belt at the checkout along with the other (unopened) items. Side note: in Ontario beer sold in grocery stores has only been allowed for about a year, so this might be why I find this scenario particularly funny. I remember seeing this while growing up — not the beer drinking, but eating a bag of chips or a bottle of pop — every so often and thinking it was weird; and now if that happens it’s called theft and you could get charged with shoplifting.

So, nostalgia has become my second favourite coping mechanism for culture shock. The first being watching the big blockbuster movies in the theatres… but that’s not really a coping mechanism as much as maintaining a habit 🙂