No photo today. I was crazy busy. But I had a great time. I really like my new co-workers. Of course, it's only been two days. But everyone is professional and gets the job done, while also being friendly. The big boss is on vacation for two and a half weeks. He left today. I'm to start going to the staff meetings with the management team. That will be a great way to get the lay of the land every Tuesday.
I was thinking about S today, or really, about me, and what culture shock I felt when I moved to Spain for six months. I spoke the language fairly well, and read and wrote quite fluently. But even so, it wasn't second nature. And despite the fact that Spain is a European country, and we have some Spanish influences here in the U.S., I still took awhile to adapt. About six weeks in I got really homesick, and stayed that way for three weeks. Then, all of a sudden, it started to feel more familiar, and I really began to enjoy myself. By the time I left I was sad to return home. (But happy to see my boyfriend, who I'd really missed!)
The mannerisms and social mores are slightly different than here. So while I found the Spaniards to be on the whole quite friendly, they were far more reserved than Americans. (I've found this to be true of all the European countries I've visited, except Scotland. I love Scotland, even though I can barely understand anything they're saying.)
I can only imagine what a shock I'd experience being thrown into a country where I had even fewer frames of reference on how to interact. I don't know that I'd fully understand what I was seeing, because it's all so new. It would be fun, interesting, even exhilarating at times, but exhausting spending so much time trying to calculate how to interact with respect to the cultural norms.
If I were to go there, I'd totally immerse myself in some of the Japanese shows on dramafever.com. I'm addicted to their k-dramas. It's free to watch the shows, if you don't mind having oddly placed commercials. They never come at natural break points. I think they're just timed to air every 15 minutes or something. No matter what. Makes for inopportune interruptions, but you get used to it.
I like dramafever.com because the shows are subtitled in English so I can follow the dialogue. I love k-dramas (and I'm sure I'd love the Japanese ones for the same reason) because it's like armchair travel. I've found that even though the culture is clearly even more different than I'd realized, the emotions are the same. People laugh at the same things, the humor is the same. The scenes that are meant to be sad make me sad; the love scenes make me happy for the protagonists. So I can relate to the underlying humanity in the shows, while seeing the subtle but very real differences in how people interact with one another. It's really quite different, but impossible to explain. You have to see it to understand the type of formality and decorum that is key in that society. Public perception is much more important than it is to Americans. You really have to watch a series to understand what I'm talking about.
So that's what I'd do. Binge-watch Japanese shows on dramafever in order to understand the subtleties of what I was seeing in day to day life. I can follow the dialogue easily because of the subtitles, so I focus more on the gestalt of what I'm seeing instead of trying to translate. Of course, there are tons of Japanese movies you can watch, but I love the series, because you really get a long (usually 18-22 episodes) drawn-out examination of the characters and how they go about their daily life. In fact, I think my next dramafever foray will be over to the Japanese section. Though now that I've seen so many k-dramas, I really want to visit Korea. Plus, the food there is so damn good. Mmm, Korean BBQ...
That's my two cents for the day, even though no one asked me. Now, I'm going to read for five minutes before I become impossibly sleepy and turn off the light to sleep until it's time for my morning meditation. I love that hour. Totally worth losing sleep for.