Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Nassau, Bahamas
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?
I have worked in the Caribbean and with Caribbean countries since 1992 and lived in teh Caribbean since 2006.
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?
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
Not so much shock as being accepted and finding a social group
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
Not significant enough to scare me away but just surprised at the lack of standardization, insfrastructure and expertise considering the proximity to the USA.
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?
Irritation to Anger was a big stage experienced primarily with the level of customer service and service in general on the island.
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.
A bit of lonliness and homesickness for sure. Maybe a bit of depression during the "rainy" months.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
Friendliness of the people in my office - I am the only expat. Ability to be happy despite not having much. Their religious faith is strong.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Work ethic is lacking. Ability to understand their responsibility for their own betterment. Tendency to take a laid-back approach to everything.
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
Long ago for sure. I did not know what an "outside child" meant . . .
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Talk to people and ask questions. While Americans are generally open and inquisitive, it is not intended to be rude. We really want to understand the culture and the reasons WHY things are the way they are. Be Open. We are ALL so very different and yet so much the same.
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