Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Blida, Algeria
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
Moving to Algeria soon?
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?
No, I have been here 5 years and can now communicate well. I understand more than I can express myself. Many people speak a little English too.
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
It was quite different but I was treated well and very respected as an American. It is a different way of thinking here. People are not time oriented at all. Always late for everything. Very noisy with lots of garbage everywhere. You don't have water everyday in Blida. Traffic is terrible with no rules of driving. It takes a long time to get paperwork done and you have to know someone to get things done quickly.
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?
The honeymoon phase for me was exciting learning the new culture and meeting new people.
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.
Frustration at first learning the habits of the people here and how they think. Always being late drove me crazy at first.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
Laid back calmer living and the food is wonderful.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Being the only one from my country here. Getting people to understand my meaning behind my words. Finding someone that thinks like I do.
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
Coffee shops here are for a male clients. I sat inside one having coffee one time and everyone looked like I was crazy.
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Try to visit a few times before moving here. Finding housing is very difficult. Products here are very poor quality and doesn't last long. People dress more conservatively here, no shorts, tank tops or low neck shirts for women. You don't have to cover your head but cover below the knees and chest. Women never smoke in public. Not much to do for entertainment either.
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