23 February 2006

culture shock in boston

what's so very interesting about culture shock is that it is, well, shocking. One cannot prepare for it. will it be the strange, gray money they use in this foreign land? will it be the moment that I pull out a 10p coin only to realize it's actually a quarter? it's much like the fabulous film Somewhere in Time a luscious Christopher Reeve-Jane Seymour flick about time travel that's just so 1980 and so so wonderful. it's one of the Brown family "classics" that we watched a bazillion times. each time there's a moment where Reeve's character, living in the past, sees a penny that's minted in the 70s (I know--horrifying enough as it is) and gets sucked back in time. it's pure culture shock. he's normalized the 1920s or whenever he is and then suddenly: the 70s! man, this sucks!

there's some of that when dealing with US money for me, this strange, too-thin, not nearly colorful enough money. But where it really is shocking is in, well, bathrooms. toilets flush differently, the taps come together into one, ingeniously mixing the cold and hot together, and, most surprisingly, the showers have these contraptions called, I believe, shower curtains, that one uses to block the water from going everywhere in the room. wow. that's a revelation.


Tarn said...

I'm having a deja vu.

Funny how meaningful the bathroom experience is.

Number Three said...

This question might demonstrate my ignorance, but can't one install one's own shower curtain, even in Britain? It's possible, of course, that they don't sell them over there, but it's not the most complex of contraptions. Something could be adapted for the purpose of suspending the curtain, which could be shipped, if necessary.

Sam said...


Nope, no ignorance revealed at all - everything you say makes sense.

However, we quickly discovered upon moving to a different country that we'd never be able to make it here long term, and to really make it our home, if we continually tried to make things like the are in the states. There are just too many things that are slightly different, too many things you can't buy or do here, and reconstructing America in Wales would not have made life better.

Thus, there are only 2 things we MUST acquire/recreate to make life meaningful here:
1. Peets Coffee!
2. Those little 'emergen-C' packets of electrolytes.
Other than that, I think we've gone native.

Number Three said...

Well, that makes sense. In general. But a little shower curtain wouldn't be so bad?

Rebecca said...

it's that the showers are totally different, because they've just switched over to them, frankly. so we have a bathtub with shower (called "all mod cons" in the adverts for flats) that has a "privacy shield" next to the shower head, sticking out about 2.5 feet from the wall. So you stand, in fact, slightly outside of this "privacy zone" and thus splash everywhere. We could rig something up, I suppose, but I've also heard (through paranoid magazines I've blogged on before) that those shower curtains gas fairly nasty stuff into the atmosphere, and thus it's probably best to figure something else out.

like buying a house and having control over these sorts of things...