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Back Stabbath
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:15 am
Posts: 169
Location: Terra Nullius
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:56 am 
 

I've been thinking a lot about culture shock lately. Given the extreme aesthetics of metal (goats head on stage etc) are there any other subcultures or even cultures that shock you? I'm not talking about bigotry, more just the "wow that's weird" kind of thing. For example, a lot of us Australians tend to shock people. We talk like galahs, call our friends cunce and our enemies maates and online often get confused with "trolls" just due to our black humour and oxymoronic behaviour.

For example, I took my (metal) mate to an African R'n'B/Booty club recently. On observing all the rampant twerking, sleaze talk and general celebrations of just enjoying being sexual he immediately walked out. I thought he was offended by the music at first, and went out and asked if he was okay. He was almost crying, and told me it had simply frightened him. He's genuinely not racist BTW.

Anyone get culture shock here?
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Moonkult
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:07 am
Posts: 87
Location: Latvia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:03 am 
 

Such animalistic behaviour is frightening indeed.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4730
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:36 am 
 

It's totally normal to be afraid of black people.
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Expedience
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 3756
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:38 am 
 

Yeah I got this in India, not so much the culture but the feeling I'd stepped into an anarchic post-apocalyptic world. Crumbling buildings everywhere, children sleeping under filthy bridges, people standing next to barrels of burning rubbish, filthy 3-legged dogs limping across roads, guys with rifles standing outside your hotel, the smell of piss and shit everywhere. If you are white people will try to obtain your money in any way possible and persist until you tell them to piss off. Coming from the west where haggling doesn't exist is something of a culture shock. It sounds harsh but if you're not strong-willed you will be broke in a week, so you will learn that soon enough. But you feel terrible just walking down the street when you've got more cash in your pocket than most will earn in a month.

Vietnam and Cambodia - being openly propositioned for sex and drugs on every corner is strange at first, and they can be pretty aggressive and persistent about it. Even worse is when you see old white men walking round with local teenage girls and realise what's going on, it's more sad than shocking. Apparently Cambodia has a huge problem with girls barely in their teens working in brothels, it's extremely unpleasant to know that stuff goes on.

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9854
Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:01 am 
 

Expedience wrote:
Yeah I got this in India, not so much the culture but the feeling I'd stepped into an anarchic post-apocalyptic world. Crumbling buildings everywhere, children sleeping under filthy bridges, people standing next to barrels of burning rubbish, filthy 3-legged dogs limping across roads, guys with rifles standing outside your hotel, the smell of piss and shit everywhere. If you are white people will try to obtain your money in any way possible and persist until you tell them to piss off. Coming from the west where haggling doesn't exist is something of a culture shock. It sounds harsh but if you're not strong-willed you will be broke in a week, so you will learn that soon enough. But you feel terrible just walking down the street when you've got more cash in your pocket than most will earn in a month.

I can support this and it doubles for Pakistan. Both countries when I went there as a kid were vastly different to the lifestyle I was used to. This was pre-9/11, but even then shit sucked. In Karachi, Pakistan you absolutely need someone who lives there to take you places because you won't know what the hell to do. It's hot as balls, it always smells, people are always carrying around rupees in their hand (imagine everyone in your city walking around with cash in-hand) or have it readily available to whip out from their pocket so that they pay off someone. Vendors walk in the middle of streets (yes, in the middle of traffic) between cars to sell you anything from candy bars to animals.

Every apartment complex, unless it's obviously in the richer neighborhoods - then it's about the same quality as an apartment complex in the lower part of the an American city - sucks ass. Filth ridden, people always fighting, crime that anyone would tell you is a crime against God yet no one does anything, walk around barefoot everywhere, dogs are just walking wherever the fuck, guns are sometimes as easy to acquire as high end TVs. I can go on, really. As a kid, I never saw so many giant bugs in my life.

The villages in west Pakistan :o talk about lawless. You forget that that cops exist because it's all tribal-run. I think the only gaming device I saw was an arcade machine from the early 90s. Slept next to a fucking cow for the entire time I was there, shat in a hole, etc.
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Moonkult
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:09 am 
 

It's good to know what countries never to visit, and Pikistan is definitely one of them!

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PhilosophicalFrog
The Hypercube

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:16 am 
 

Back Stabbath wrote:
For example, I took my (metal) mate to an African R'n'B/Booty club recently. On observing all the rampant twerking, sleaze talk and general celebrations of just enjoying being sexual he immediately walked out. I thought he was offended by the music at first, and went out and asked if he was okay. He was almost crying, and told me it had simply frightened him. He's genuinely not racist BTW.


It's because black mandingos are coming to steal away your precious white women while pounding their chests. Your friend is racist as fuck - or just a complete dweeb who's scared of sex. I'm not a big fan of clubs, but to be such a bitch about it is weird.

I've only been to India and the upper part of North America - I will say that Pakistan and India are very similar by the sounds of it. India, outside of the BIGGEST, most touristy places, is pretty much a hot garbage hole that's always fucking dusty, why is it so goddamn dusty. Kolkata is tons of grubby hands and people trying to raise prices because you're white. I did, however, get confused for a Turk a lot - which kind of only made things more complicated. Oh well, heading back there in December and will speak Bengali, so I'll be able to yell stuff.

Alaska is a culture shock of it's own - you're alone. Like, really, really alone. You don't get it until you go a few miles outside of the fishing towns, and once you're in the woods, you finally know what silence is. There's an ever present fear of the unknown, a bizarre primal fear that is completely different from the fear you get when walking around cities. It's an awe inspiring beauty mixed with a trembling sense of being very tiny. Plus, I was there during the "light months" working on a boat where you couldn't tell what time it was, only how tired you were. Just a different world - everyone carried guns on them, hell I had a revolver on my hip 90% of the time just due to the fact that you can run into something that may hurt you or some meth'd out asshole. That being said, it was pretty awesome.
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Smoking_Gnu
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:44 am 
 

That sounds amazing, and I've heard similarly from a friend who spent a few weeks in Alaska. I was already amazed at the silence and isolation of Canada just a bit north of the Minnesota border.
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iamntbatman
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:11 pm 
 

It's kind of strange, I honestly didn't really have that much in the way of culture shock moving to Korea. waiguoren tells me that the "real" culture shock hits you once you've been here for several months and the sometimes subtle differences just start to get under your skin. There are a lot of things about Korea that are of course much different from America, but were easy enough to adjust to - it's considered rude to give or receive things (like money when paying for stuff) with just one hand, for example. There's also of course adjusting to different food, but that's only a big deal if you're a wanker I guess. Really more of the "culture shock" for me was seeing just how similar shit is to back home. Seeing tons of western chain stores (who the hell knew that 7-11 is so common in Korea? Not me.) and the mostly familiar cars where everyone drives on the right was a strangely comforting. It also weirds me out when I see a white person walking around, to be honest.

I have done some travelling and briefly lived abroad, though, plus I come from an extremely diverse part of the US that's packed to the gills with people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures, so maybe I was just better prepared for the reality of cultural differences compared to many other westerners who move here.
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MonumentalBlackArt
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:04 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:49 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
It also weirds me out when I see a white person walking around, to be honest.


Ha, that reminds me of the summer I spent in China. I was teaching English to children in rural China, and as you can imagine, there aren't many white people in backwoods China. The town had like 1000 people and basically never saw white people. And except for huge cities I never saw white people either. Then one day we came across a white kid from England. It was pretty surreal.

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StainedClass95
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:14 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:55 pm 
 

Opposite of the China story, I saw next to no Asians growing up. About two years ago I went to a mall that was half-Asian, and that was strange at first. I didn't run out crying, but it was odd to walk around and hear so much Mandarin(?) spoken.

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Funeral Frog
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 9:04 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:37 pm 
 

^ Yeah kind of the same for me. I live in Ontario. The towns here are about (random stat. guess) 99.8% white. In fact, I only know 6 black people who live here (and 3 are "half-white"). The culture shock isn't very far away, though. Toronto has "50.2%" white people, and coloured (usually) immigrants make up the rest. I have no problem with this, but it's kind of annoying when you can't find someone who speaks either official language in some spots.
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teh_Foxx0rz
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 9:38 am
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:03 pm 
 

I've never been further away than Spain, Germany, Italy (from the UK) and then only on school trips so don't have any "real" stories to tell, but I did have this Russian partner for a project last year in uni and she tried to give me money to help her out with another of her assignments without much second thought (though a little desperation), and I really wasn't sure how to respond. And she told me how things were in Russia a little bit too, and it sounds just like the things I've heard about it; bribery is nothing special and if you don't know how to stick up for yourself then you better learn soon (and this was before the Pussy Riot fiasco and related things got big news). I'd always kinda liked the sound of Russia but it doesn't sound like a place you'd want to visit without a great deal of preparation (and from as much as I've seen seems to be only getting worse so far).

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Exigence
Age: 28 (Wait, what?!)

Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:42 pm
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Location: New Orleans
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:20 pm 
 

I spent a few weeks in Thailand 2 years ago. Never again will I venture to an undeveloped country. Absolutely abysmal. The air in the cities was terrible, the open markets were full of rotting meats. It was crowded, constantly getting pestered by beggars and assorted scammers, hot all the time, couldn't find a cold drink anywhere. The islands beautiful but not worth the other miserable hassles. It taught me that there was indeed something I'd fight and die for - indoor plumbing and climate control. I'm sure Africa and India are much worse. I want no part of it. Only North America and Europe for this fellow.

If you ever want to see the baseline filth and godless suffering of the human condition, visit a third world country.
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Kahalachan
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 1:46 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:59 pm 
 

Back Stabbath wrote:

For example, I took my (metal) mate to an African R'n'B/Booty club recently. On observing all the rampant twerking, sleaze talk and general celebrations of just enjoying being sexual he immediately walked out. I thought he was offended by the music at first, and went out and asked if he was okay. He was almost crying, and told me it had simply frightened him. He's genuinely not racist BTW.


HAHAHHA That's cute he was that scared.

Never had culture shock despite being all over the world. At least in all the 1st world countries. It was a little different and I had to adjust.

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Nahsil
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:25 pm 
 

Poor sexually repressed white people :P
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Earthcubed
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:43 pm 
 

In all honesty if he was actually that scared it's probably not his fault. Sounds like some mixture of poor parenting and living in a bubble.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:13 pm 
 

Exigence wrote:
If you ever want to see the baseline filth and godless suffering of the human condition, visit a third world country.


Like Louisiana?
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:21 pm 
 

Something tells me people living in the slums of Sierra Leone would kill for the opportunity to have the luxuries of living in Louisiana.
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Exigence
Age: 28 (Wait, what?!)

Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:42 pm
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Location: New Orleans
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:08 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Exigence wrote:
If you ever want to see the baseline filth and godless suffering of the human condition, visit a third world country.


Like Louisiana?


I live in New Orleans, an oasis in the American South. You still get the gool ol boy racism but it's balanced with big city crime. The rest of the state is unbearable, as are all the bordering ones. I've lived all over, possibly only preferring the lazy day drinking of San Diego to the lazy day drinking of NOLA.

Which is odd because it's so close to Mexico, a whole different level of hell altogether.

I don't get shocked by cultures. I get it. You do things different. I get shocked by the total absence of comfort. India is a filthy wasteland but...guess what...the rich drive sportscars and live in air conditioned condos there too.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:16 pm 
 

Comfort is relative, though.
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waiguoren
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:28 pm 
 

Exigence wrote:
I spent a few weeks in Thailand 2 years ago. Never again will I venture to an undeveloped country. Absolutely abysmal. The air in the cities was terrible, the open markets were full of rotting meats. It was crowded, constantly getting pestered by beggars and assorted scammers, hot all the time, couldn't find a cold drink anywhere. The islands beautiful but not worth the other miserable hassles.


So in a Thai city you couldn't find a single 7-11, restaurant, Subway, McDonald's, Burger King etc to buy a cold drink? I'd like to hear more about this trip if that's okay with you.
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henkkjelle
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:37 pm 
 

Don't worry, he just watched The Hangover Part II while on acid.
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waiguoren
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:37 pm 
 

MonumentalBlackArt wrote:
Ha, that reminds me of the summer I spent in China. I was teaching English to children in rural China, and as you can imagine, there aren't many white people in backwoods China. The town had like 1000 people and basically never saw white people.


I knew a Canadian guy who had a job in Taiyuan, the city that is 'famous' for coal mining. He absolutely hated it - really bad pollution, no other foreigners, lots of dirty miners from the countryside everywhere, nothing to do except drink that crap Snow beer etc etc. He'd complain about walking down the street to buy groceries and people would start taking his picture, then at the supermarket while shopping people would follow him around to see what he bought, the constant shouting of 'Hello!' - he said it got so bad he would not eat for two to three days at a time because he couldn't deal with stepping out his front door except for going to work.

Anyway a few months later I'm talking to this other Canadian guy who is half-black (and as you probably know blacks have it worse when it comes to the gawking and all that in China). Turns out he'd also worked in Taiyuan before, and he said the exact same things, he was like, 'Dude I'd leave my place and people would stop what they were doing to take pictures of me, they'd follow me around at stores and be amazed that I was buying milk and eggs and shit, people were always saying hello to me - it was fucking awesome man, I felt like such a rock star." - so yeah, depends a lot on how one handles these things.
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Exigence
Age: 28 (Wait, what?!)

Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:42 pm
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Location: New Orleans
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:38 pm 
 

I don't eat fast food. I meant at bars, when I got a beer it was 'cold' in a sense that it was put in the fridge 15 minutes prior. So in the perpetual 90 degree heat, it was cold for all of 2 sips. It took about a week before I had to ask specifically for a beer that was "all the way in the back of the cooler". I even asked for a separate bucket of ice a few times. For a bottle of beer. It was so god damn hot. Mind you...this was a drinking trip. We were just fucking around Thailand for a couple of weeks. It seemed like a good idea on paper. Also...the fucking hotel rooms. You can't just run AC. Which is my favorite thing about hotels. You'd had to put your key into the power slot in order to run air conditioning. When you came home sweating, you came home to a hot room. It was like this even at the nice resorts on the different islands we stayed at.

There were definitely times in Phuket where it felt like you could disappear and never be heard from again.

But the beaches on the islands (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Phangan, Ko Samui) were great. Excellent beach drinking, clear water, bars, tourists, lawlessness. Very fun. But the mainland cities and small towns felt like District 9. I'm glad I went, obviously, so now I know. I can say I've been to the other side of the world and it sucked.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:54 pm 
 

Complaining about not having a cold beer is a bit.....


But I hear you on the air conditioning thing. Some people have skin that simply does not process heat or sweat that well. You've never heard of such people because up until the 20th century, they always died before you got a chance to meet them. Now they have air conditioning, so you don't hear about them today either.
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MonumentalBlackArt
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:04 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:58 pm 
 

waiguoren wrote:
MonumentalBlackArt wrote:
Ha, that reminds me of the summer I spent in China. I was teaching English to children in rural China, and as you can imagine, there aren't many white people in backwoods China. The town had like 1000 people and basically never saw white people.


I knew a Canadian guy who had a job in Taiyuan, the city that is 'famous' for coal mining. He absolutely hated it - really bad pollution, no other foreigners, lots of dirty miners from the countryside everywhere, nothing to do except drink that crap Snow beer etc etc. He'd complain about walking down the street to buy groceries and people would start taking his picture, then at the supermarket while shopping people would follow him around to see what he bought, the constant shouting of 'Hello!' - he said it got so bad he would not eat for two to three days at a time because he couldn't deal with stepping out his front door except for going to work.

Anyway a few months later I'm talking to this other Canadian guy who is half-black (and as you probably know blacks have it worse when it comes to the gawking and all that in China). Turns out he'd also worked in Taiyuan before, and he said the exact same things, he was like, 'Dude I'd leave my place and people would stop what they were doing to take pictures of me, they'd follow me around at stores and be amazed that I was buying milk and eggs and shit, people were always saying hello to me - it was fucking awesome man, I felt like such a rock star." - so yeah, depends a lot on how one handles these things.


Oh, totally. People wouldn't even try to hide the fact that they were staring at you. People asked to take pictures of me, asked to touch my blond hair, and I'm pretty sure one dude was trying to smell me on a bus once. And in the city it wasn't any different. It was a small city by Chinese standards (probably 300,000 plus) but I went there expecting to be treated differently but nope. People still gawked, pointed, talked, you name it. I was actually given free stuff because of my skin/hair color. We visited this little water park once and the owner was blown over by the fact that non-Asians were at his park. He asked us if we would be OK if he filmed us for a commercial for his water park and offered to give us free tickets in return. Naturally, we thought this was awesome and accepted right away. So he called someone and soon enough people showed up with cameras and recording stuff. It was bizarre but really cool. It's funny to think that I'm in a commercial for some little water park in rural China. Plenty of other fun situations resulting from being white. Played a card/drinking game with some old Chinese men, got a free haircut, was let into a club free, free drinks. It really was like being a rockstar. Everyone loved me! Except for some younger Chinese guys at that club, but that's because all the Chinese girls wanted to talk to us instead of the Chinese guys haha!

But if I was a rockstar the black teacher was a god. He was the only black person people had seen in their life and people were crazy about him. I think the best thing that happened that summer was when we took a guy's offer to give us a lift back to our hostel. We had gone out to get lunch for the next day and ended up pretty far from the hostel. A man overheard us complaining about the walk and offered us a ride on his ghetto ass motercycle. Figuring we didn't have anything to lose we accepted. So the guy hops on his bike. He's a pretty fat guy, bald, and shirtless. It's the middle of summer. It's probably 90+ degrees and the guys is sweating like a pig. The black teacher and I flip a coin to see who has to hold on to the fat sweaty dude and I lose. So I mount up and the other teacher gets on behind me. The number of triple takes we got when driving through the city was innumerable. A fat Chinese man, a skinny white dude, and a black guy with a blond Mohawk all riding the same bike is not something the city will ever see again, I'm sure.

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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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Location: A smoldering ruin with wi-fi, Chechnya
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:46 am 
 

^ that was a long story but I'm glad I read it. Last four lines killed me. Sounds like the trailer for a bad 70's TV action series "team E.T.H.N.O. Force"
I've never been outside the US, but I'd love to travle to East or Central Asia (Mongolia if possible but I've heard they don't much care for foreigners sticking their noses around in their awesomely scenic country).
New Orleans is another place I really wanna go check out sometime, nothing else south of where I've lived, but Cajun accents are so fuckin cool, plus all the historic ties to the Caribbean and the French and everything else is such an anomaly for most of the rest of this country.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:58 am 
 

Despite the fact that it's on Vice, I decided to give this a watch today.



I can understand being invigorated so much by a hobby or lifestyle so much that you want to invest so much in it, but it is a little... eye widening. The part where the two lads are seriously whaling on each other to death, and the fight concludes in a draw was just sobering haha (and you could tell it definitely had a spell on the young guy shooting it), But then after they were told the results, they shook hands and embraced each other, glad that they were honorable enough to knock the other's brains out. Makes you realize that underground fighting has its own culture and system of respect. It's filled with people who have a passion for it, who feel great being around people who love one thing as much as they do, the same way Guitarists or metalheads, card players or figurine enthusiasts, Olympians or athletes do.

The Giants of Iceland was another one done on the worlds strongest people ever. It was also great, and a much better done documentary though not as shocking.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:02 am 
 

New Orleans is cool as long as you avoid the tourist trap commercial nonsense...which was really rampant when I went.
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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:56 pm
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Location: A smoldering ruin with wi-fi, Chechnya
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:08 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
New Orleans is cool as long as you avoid the tourist trap commercial nonsense...which was really rampant when I went.

Like palm readings and tarot cards shit? Yeah, figured there'd be a lot of gimmicks to draw in some unwitting tourist's money. Gonna stay as far away from anything voodoo related as possible, I don't "believe" in any of it, but I'd rather not be put in a position where I'd have to re-think that. So far, so good.
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Nahsil
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:13 am 
 

I'm sure there's that, but I saw just tons of commercialism and overpriced "authentic" bullshit, trinkets, souvenirs, crappy food marketed as good etc.

Basically "the New Orleans experience! get it here for $49.99!"

But there's also a lot of authentic, cool stuff there.
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Last edited by Nahsil on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CF_Mono
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:14 am 
 

Oh, and OP's story is funny though :P I don't think his friend is a racist, just really, really weird. Sounds like something the 12 year old me would do. These days I'd be enjoying myself!
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Back Stabbath
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:15 am
Posts: 169
Location: Terra Nullius
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:48 am 
 

PhilosophicalFrog wrote:
Your friend is racist as fuck - or just a complete dweeb who's scared of sex.


I know him well, it's definitely the latter. This was actually why I took him there, he has a bad attitude towards sexuality generally.

India sounds a bit like some of the remote Indidge communities I've been to here sad to say.
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Rompestromper
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:37 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:34 am 
 

I actually think the Americans are a bit weird, at least Floridians. All fake happiness, obesity, the whole city of Orlando is made of fibreglass, you see a nice thing, knock on it, damn plastic. I am not sure if most of them are just a bit elitist to tourists but we were working on an expo there and from whole the country most expressed their opinions as if America was the greatest, but I more got a feeling they weren't much aware of what was really going on in the world as if they were locked in their own country. It is also very unsafe to walk or cycle in the cities I have noticed. Chicago was better, maybe it was the temperature over there or the type of work that there is done (or the more obvious German influence there) but it still felt a bit strange from time to time. I enjoyed a lot of it as well but that is beyond the subject I guess, I am just describing the differences in culture here. What stumbled me the most was the extreme focus on food. Signs with all the restaurants next to highway, ow yeah, you can also get gas here as if that is of minor importance when you are driving. I also never saw so much restaurants in one place, each block you drove but in the end most food is horrible since it is too fast food for me. Maybe some recommendations for good food for next time.

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Smoking_Gnu
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:40 am 
 

Some interesting points there! I'm with you on Florida; the place did indeed seem just heavily overdeveloped and plasticky when I went there; though I did stay in the tourist-y areas and would have to imagine the smaller towns are a bit nicer. Maybe Empyreal can weigh in if he reads this...Glad you liked Chicago a bit better; as my current home-town I'm rather fond of all the ethnic diversity and old-fashioned neighborhoods and such here.

Interesting point about the roadside food ads as well - My best guess would be that's partially on account of the trucking and travel industry here? Lots of folks travel very long distances frequently on account of the country's size, so roadside food stops end up being quite convenient. Granted, I obviously know people travel between European countries relatively frequently on account of their close proximity, but I was thinking such long-distance car trips could be a more common thing in the states. And yeah, all the fast food sucks, which is why I pretty much only get sub sandwiches from such places (and am now fittingly sick of them.)
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Empyreal
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:08 am 
 

I love Florida. Of course I'm biased as I grew up here, but even after spending time in other states and countries I still wouldn't want to live anywhere else permanently, not right now at least. It helps that all my friends and family live here too I suppose. But I just really enjoy the culture - beaches, Cuban food, palm trees, the whole aesthetic of it. Plus I find Orlando to be a great city full of cool bars, nerd stuff, places to visit, etc. while not being too big or anything. Though I do like real big cities too.

And yes there is a huge focus on food here. The US has had an extreme advertising culture for a long time now - bit unfortunate in how commercialized it all is but you gotta be smart, weed out the good info from the bad, like anything online or anywhere else.
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marcomai
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:19 am
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:40 am 
 

I think if you can speak the language of a country you visit you have a completely different experience.

In Europe I've visited France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands and Norway. I can speak Spanish and a smattering of French, but really Western Europe is no real culture shock for a British Person. I must say that Norway (Oslo) is the only country where I've heard open racism on the streets. Mind you, I've heard it at home too.

I've been to Egypt which was a culture shock, albeit minimally as I didn't spend much time unaccompanied in Cairo. Seeing hardcore poverty is indeed shocking. There's poverty in the UK too, very serious poverty but it's different to the type of poverty one sees in a country like Egypt. My girlfriend probably bore the brunt of the culture shock. I have dark hair and a beard while her long hair was flowing. She got some horrible looks from Egyptian women not to mention the intense, creepy advances of a lot of young men.

The only US trip I have made was to San Francisco. I stayed right across from the Golden Gate Park entrance on Haight and the visible homelessness was quite shocking. Given that I worked in homeless services in a major UK city for ten years it was still a shock. Sure, you see a lot of homeless people in London for example but the SF experience was much more intense. I don't just mean the 'Haight St. Kids' who are oftentimes young tourists with a judgmental attitude, I mean hardcore longterm mentally ill people living out of trolleys.

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Festivus
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:26 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:05 pm 
 

I've been to most Western and Northern European countries, and while there are cultural differences, it was still Europe and I didn't feel like an outcast in such places at all. I was very impressed by how orderly and quiet the Scandinavians were. They didn't complain while waiting in lines and didn't yell at the traffic like I see Portuguese and French people do. Seriously, crossing the streets in Paris leads you to a lot of near death experiences. And before anyone asks, no, I did not find the Parisians or the French rude at all. And they also won't curse at you for not speaking French fluently.

Anyway, the only time I've traveled outside of Europe was to Tunisia, and it sure felt like I was in another planet. Plus, I was a kid at the time so big cultural differences were even weirder for me back then. The way the people made business there(you gotta argue to get a good price, it's tiresome) and their idea of hospitality(they weren't rude to us but they weren't very friendly either) just didn't get through my head. Also, one thing I noticed was how when me or my family opened our mouths people nearby could tell we were Portuguese and start saying things like "Portugal! Luís Figo"(a football player)." In every other country we've been into no one could guess where we were form until we told them. Also, at the hotel's store, this guy thought we were Yugoslavians at first and then asked us if we were Bulgarian. Now that was weird lol.

Back when I worked at an airport, I talked to passengers and crews from all over the world on a daily basis. I must say the thing I disliked the most was dealing with African passengers. They lacked so much common sense that it was hard for me to keep my face straight at times. And I wasn't the only one. Handling companies there said they were very frustrating to deal with.

I'd like to visit countries like Japan, Korea and China someday, but I would never be able to permanently move to them. When it comes to the world I'm mostly a fan of Europe and East Asia. I doubt I could live in Africa, most of Asia or communities in Latin America where I'd be one of the few white guys there. Visit such places? Sure, but even so, I can't say I'd be very excited with the idea of travelling to such places. I traveled to Tunisia because I had no choice. I was a kid and had to accompany my family. To this day, it's one of my least favorite trips and I was glad when we finally went back to Portugal.

If I ever move to another country it will be to another European country, and I doubt I'll experience huge culture shock. Will probably miss small things like the color of the buses, the coffee and the bottled water I had at home, but I'm sure that's easy to get over with. I do know people who have been to former Communist and Soviet countries and they say it can be quite an experience. The iron curtain left some scars.

Just my two cents based on my personal experiences only.

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Unity
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:42 pm
Posts: 395
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:19 pm 
 

I've been to Brazil three times (the last one last year), and I guess I can say that I experienced a bit of culture shock, in the interior. Cities like São Paulo are basically like places like London or Paris - lots of skyscrapers and all types of people -, but the cities in the interior are completely different. Basically, they're extremely boring: there's pretty much nothing to do, no movie theaters, no record shops, nothing of interest. Even worse, people in those cities are just WAY too religious - everywhere you look there are references to religion (things like "God is faithful" painted everywhere, among other things), there are loads of different churches, about 12 religious tv channels, and if you turn on the radio that's all they talk about. I mean, if you're religious that's fine, but I just don't get it how come they just don't get sick of all of it. Also, most of them only listen to really tacky traditional brazilian music ("sertaneja" or "caipira" as they call it), dress like cowboys and own ranches with cows. And believe it or not, at a few times I had difficulty being understood as some people didn't understand my accent, even though I speak the same language. On the upside though, I did sometimes feel like a rockstar (everyone wanted to talk to me) because I was not only a foreigner, but one that spoke their language (excluding obviously the ones who didn't understand me), and I guess it wasn't very common for them to have a foreigner in their city.
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