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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Los Angeles, United States

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Los Angeles

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

Yes, I speak English, but the difference was that we spoke British English and it was quite uncomfortable for me to get familiar with US phrases. But after 4 years it looks easy going. But Spanish...well I'm nill.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No, but I was ready for it.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

It was significant. As an example, when dealing with people:

1. In Sri Lanka when you go visit a friend for a purpose you don't say, "I need this and that directly" -- we say..."Oh, I was just thinking of seeing you..so...how are you doing..so and so...after 30 min. you said gradually what you need."

Here bang on...you say it to the face!!

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Well Americans are quite easy going, Sri Lankans are sometimes tough. But that's the surface ..in deep conscious it's the other way.

Americans speak loud and not good listeners. Sri Lankans speak very quietly and are good listeners.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Yes, home sickness is huge.. We live in extended families with our parents and sometimes with grandparents and relatives in a very close proximity. Here you feel very alone..missing all.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

It's good, free indeed.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

No cricket...no trishos on roads.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Its bearable... especially if you are young.

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