Culture bumps are normal when moving to any foreign country
by Ivo Henfling
Recently, we have been publishing blogs by expats TicoNuevo and FloridaTico that our readers seem to like. Why do readers like them? Because they tell you the truth! Because they don’t only tell you about all the great things that Costa Rica offers but also about all these culture bumps they hit on the way!
Many readers of our blogs might think these culture bumps only exist for those who move to Costa Rica. Well, surprise surprise, they’re not. There is a website that is called exactly that, Culture Bumps, and it is a space where expats tell their stories. It’s fun to read.
I love particularly how they describe on their page what a culture bump is: A culture bump is a situation in intercultural communication that one or more people have experienced as confusing, strange, irritating, embarrassing, or amusing. Sound familiar? If you’ve spent some time in another culture, often wondering what on earth just happened or what you might have done or said wrong. We all tend to take our own values, beliefs, and behaviors for granted and only notice them when someone else deviates from them.
A great read is a book by Herman Wouk, Don’t Stop the Carnival. I read this book about 30 years ago and still enjoy the memories of reading it, how this could have been playing in Costa Rica instead on the island of Amerigo. This is the amusing tale of New York public relations man Norman Paperman that centers on a universal dream – quitting the rat race, escaping to the sunny Caribbean to loll about in the sunshine amidst scantily-clad beauties, and be the King of one’s own alcohol-induced domain. Amazon sells it for the Kindle for $9,59. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did, please read it BEFORE you move to Costa Rica.
I am one of those who moved to Costa Rica and I was only 25 years old when I did. At 25 you adjust a lot easier and you hit those culture bumps a lot softer than you do at 55 or at 70 years old. Most of these stories are funny when you read them, but many are not so funny at all when they happen to you. And that is what we are trying to do at GoDutch Realty: get you ready for that huge step in life, your retirement in Costa Rica and make those bumps as soft as we can.
At GoDutch Realty, we all understand where the difficulties are and we try to teach you how to deal with them before you move to Costa Rica, not after the fact and when you’re ready to throw in the towel and move back. Of course, we at GoDutch Realty are all about selling you this lovely property in Costa Rica that you have been dreaming about all your life, which for us is the easy part and the one that puts food on our table.
I DO want to remind our readers that we DO appreciate any referrals you can send us. I know you all meet people on the plane, in the supermarket, at yoga, at the gym, at the Blooms ladies club, at the potluck organized by your community. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica or you know someone who wants to purchase one, we appreciate it.
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