Sunday, September 25, 2005

Livin' local

I'm not the kind of person who wants to dive right into a new culture and try everything. I tend to be fairly cautious. I've noticed that when you encounter something new in a culture, there are three ways you can react: that's wrong, that's different, or that's better. I have learned to get past the "that's wrong" reaction to most things (otherwise you'll always hate where you live) but I leave a lot of other aspects of a new culture in the "that's different" category, rather than actually trying them.

So it's been a new experience for me in the last few weeks to try something new in my host culture. This to most of you will seem like the smallest, most banal thing, but I'm pretty proud of it: I have learned how to back into parking spaces. To me, this represents a cultural adjustment because you will find in any car park that almost every single car is backed into place. I've discovered that it's actually much easier than driving straight in because you have three mirrors to guide you. I find this invaluable. It now falls into the "that's better" category for me.

Now, I still don't hang my clothes out the window on a long stick to dry and I don't leave my door open in the evening instead of turning on the air, but maybe one of these days I'll try them. So if you're feeling like branching out, try the backing in thing, see what you think. Let me know how it goes.

1 comment:

Gina Marie said...

We had to parallel park on our test, but I'm talking about backing into a parking lot space, as opposed to pulling into it like everyone does in the states. And the spaces here aren't made for giant SUVs like they are in the states. It's like they parked a car, traced it with paint, and said, "Yep, it fits."

You had to back into parking lot spaces on your driver's test?