Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Americanisation

Today we are having left-overs. This is an opportunity to reflect on other issues besides food.
It is always a cultural shock when you move to another country. Sometimes even when you move within the same country (even if it's the country you were born in). So, I am no exception in this regard. I rather think the cultural shock of coming to Massachusetts from Europe is much smaller than ending up in Texas (ugh!) or - God forbid - the Bible Belt. Anyway, after the initial shock there is usually acclimatisation (the "getting-used-to-it" phase), adaption and (to a certain extent) conversion.
     HubbyGrouch rather mixes with scientists than "ordinary" people. I on the other hand meet All-American moms during my daily routines and excursions. Like the high-strung, ambitious soccer mom who insisted that her 2-year old daughter didn't use her hands when playing with a soccer ball, or else mommy would stop playing with her. Or mothers who only serve canned or frozen food to their kids. Or the absolutely-no-sugary-snacks-for-my-kid mom (hey, news flash: Fruits have lots of sugar!). So whenever I conveyed the quirky/weird/strange/ridiculous/idiotic/crazy/stupid behavior of people I interacted with during the day to HubbyGrouch, he thought I didn't like it here. When I started entering that last phase (the "conversion"), HubbyGrouch said he would keep a checklist about that. Just to make fun of me. He never did though, and now I already got so used to people and their ways that I don't remember many of these initial "shocks".
     We have an American family car. Something that even a lot of American families don't have - they prefer Japanese cars. It's not a MiniVan, though. That's where I draw the line! I am still complaining that all the driving is necessary. I don't want to do it but there doesn't seem to be a good alternative. I used to say that all that American mothers do is drive their kids from A to B all day - and now I feel like I'm doing the same. And it gets worse the older they get!
I said that I don't want my kids to watch TV - something I have heard from a lot of other mothers. Guess how many of them really stuck to it. But we have an excuse (that's what we keep telling ourselves). Our kids have to be exposed to the English language, how about that. Same thing with food. I wanted my kids to eat fruit snacks instead of crackers but was (at least in part) beaten by reality.
     Maybe these things don't add up to much. Writing this I realize that maybe I haven't blended in as much as it felt like. There are still so many things that I find very odd. I'm sure they will come up in other blogs later. So long.

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