Culture Shock. I did not know what the term even meant. I was your average little girl growing up in the middle class of society in good old California. The traveling I did was to go to Hearst Castle, Disneyland, camping with dad in the moutains, fishing out on the ocean with my brother, and flying to Texas to visit a boyfriend. Other countries was not something I begin thinking about until my mom started taking my niece to Europe after I got married.
My honeymoon was the first taste of another country. We decided to fly to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The plane trip was uneventful, but it was when we landed that the culture shock slowly began. I had built up in my head this really green image of lots of palm trees and flowers, but when we arrived, the hot air was the first tactile sensation. I looked around, and instead of green palm trees and flowers blooming everywhere I saw a few palm trees, and no flowers. I will never forget the taxi drive to the hotel either--that was true culture shock. The taxi was driving along a stretch of beach when my husband's exclaimed, "Oh, my God! Look," he pointed his finger at a man peeing while walking on the road. Thank God we share the same sense of humor as we both busted out laughing hysterically.
When we finally got to the hotel, we began seeing some more palm trees. We checked in, and after settling in, we went to get some dinner. I had never had authentic Mexican food, and I was in heaven--street tacos, chips and salsa, burritoes, shrimp enchilada, I could not get enough. Mexico was beginning to grow on me.
Culture shock. You get over it. However if you wish to minimize it, you could do research on where you are going. Find out about the people and their culture. Learn about what food they eat so you will know what you are ordering, and definitely enjoy being in another country and learning about other people.