Re: Culture Shock

John Pastore (venture@CANCUN.RCE.COM.MX)
Thu, 2 May 1996 02:49:16 +0000

Hi Again,

Maybe I need to explain better. The "culture shock" of returning home
is not exclusive to homecomings after anthropological expeditions. It
can happen to anyone doing anything for an extended period of time in
a different culture. After spending a strecth of some six years in a
city that has no street crime (and that is no exageration) I did
indeed forget what I use to call "defensive walking" --knowing which,
and what side of, the street to walk on only at certain hours. Back
in the states whether it was NY, Atlanta or New Orleans it had become
second nature (what I was referring to as "street smarts"). After
the extended leave though, I almost got killed by a gang of youths. I
spotted them spot me just in the nick of time less some (sometimes I
just know I have a guardian angel), and when I did spot them spot me,
I realized almost simultaneously how stupid it is to let oneself
forget. I have never since returned to the states without my guard
up. But that was, of course, relative to a comparatively much less
violent society.

On 2 May 96 at 13:10, John Wingard wrote:

> nothing was forgotten, just less taken for granted, and also made to
> realize what some thought were "smarts" weren't necessarily all
> that smart.
> On Thu, 2 May 1996, John Pastore wrote:
> > On 2 May 96 at 12:12, John Wingard wrote:
> >
> > ...This dimension of
> > > returning culture shock was the most disturbing, enlightening
> > > and longest lasting. And despite all my training in
> > > anthropology prior to my first field experience, I cannot
> > > honestly say I was prepared for that aspect of the
> > > "anthropological experience."
> > >
> >
> > Hi John,
> >
> > It can get down-right dangerous when you've been away long enough
> > to forget how automatic it should be to engage your "street
> > smarts", upon home arrival.
> >
> >
> > Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,
> >
> > John Pastore
> > Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
> > ("The Mayan Homeland")
> >
> >

Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,

John Pastore
Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
("The Mayan Homeland")