Culture shock

by Decemberbaby

Here I am. Back in the land of no-sunshine. It’s cold here, and so are the people.

The kids and I walked down the street this morning. It was early, so we only passed about ten people. Five wouldn’t even make eye contact. Three looked at me as if I had three heads when I said “good morning”. Two grumbled “good morning” while hurrying past me. Sigh. I miss saying “good morning” and getting a smiley “good morning! How you doing today?”

I’m weirded out by the lack of honking cars. I mean, in a Toronto context it’s good: no road rage. But where I’m coming from, two short beeps mean “thanks for letting me in!” and one means “you’re welcome!” Drivers there are very considerate; they know that there are few traffic lights and they drive accordingly, stopping to allow oncoming traffic to turn. Hence you hear lots of little beeps all day, but almost no angry honks. You also hear quite a few friendly little horns that play “la cucaracha”, which really adds a laid-back vibe to the commute.

On the subject of driving, I felt very disoriented today as I tried to remember that I drive on the right side of the road here, and the turn signals are to the left of the steering wheel, not to the right. I did manage to drive without any head-on collisions, but I think I signaled with my windshield wipers a few times.

And the roads are so straight here. On our island almost no road is straight, making 40 km/h feel more like 70. Here when I’m going the speed limit it feels unbearably slow.

But we’re back, and I’m glad we are. I need to get back on the bandwagon, with my Menu Plan Mondays and Work in Progress Wednesdays and everything in between. I’ll do that… as soon as I catch up on some sleep.



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