Sometimes taking the time to think where you are at is the best thing that you can do. You may find yourself easily connecting dots or planting seeds that will, eventually, give you a new insight into the world around you.
Living inside the expat bubble ALL the time is tiring, exhausting and unnecessary.
I invite you to step back, stop for two minutes and figure out what are the real feelings and sensations that hold you back from interacting more with your host community. Could it be the idea of it being ‘a different culture’?
Recently, I read a text on ‘others’ by Seth Godin, a leading expert on communities.
‘Others’ <and ‘they’> refers to your hosts, your new community: Madrid y los madrileños.
He addresses the ‘Culture’ issue by presenting it like this:
“It seems like our take on culture is that we’re right.
We shake hands properly, use a napkin properly, speak up at events and even greet one another on the street properly.
When I’m in a foreign city, I’m always amazed at how (friendly/off-putting/aloof/intimate) everyone else is.”
This leads us to think that we can’t all be wrong, which means we can’t all be right, either.
I like his approach when defining what Culture is really about and I would ask you to define what Culture really means to you.
Then, compare to his definition: “Culture isn’t the work of being right. It’s the work of being in sync.
Culture is people like us do things like this.”
Why not learn more about what others’ do and why ‘they’ do it like that?
Spanish Language is spoken by 560M people. It is a vast and varied Culture: from Madrid to Santo Domingo or Jaen to Vigo… There is little room for the absolute. Different tokens of a wonderful puzzle. Culture is based on the specific.
Let´s get specific!
We are in Madrid, in Spain in October 2019 which is the perfect time to begin to learn, interact, understand and accept that it is not all about them, but about how you perceive the whole picture of ‘others’.