Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My two-sense worth for adaptation

Dated: 21st May

The old saying for cultural sensitivity used to be like this – Assume different until proven. From this experience, I would like to propose – Assume the same until told. At the beginning, I was really conscious when I was proposing ideas, repeatedly using words like ‘in my country’, ‘back in Malaysia/Singapore’, ‘I am not sure how it works here’. And I found others saying the same things as me too, when they are sharing ideas. In the end, we found that most of the things we said are the same in both societies! We share the same expectation for the same role, the same problems in AIESEC, and find many many more similarities!

The moment you decide to adapt, you suddenly take things so much easily. Taking cold shower no longer haunts me, and I am grateful when there is running water, be it in the form of shower or bucket (Bucket bath is when you use your hands to scoop water from the bucket to splash it unto your body). I am grateful that there is electricity, I have lights and fans. My workplace does not have fans, not to mention air-conditioning. I’ve spoken to my boss, it doesn’t seem financially possible to get one till we get the next revenue. However, I am surprised that I am not even complaining too much about it. I am getting to terms with food with little hygiene, using plates that are cleaned with just water and wiped with a less-than-clean cloth, putting my sandy feet on the bed, toilet bowl without the seat plastic and the cover and without a flushing system, a room with no rubbish bin, and being at ease when I am soaking in sweat. I am amazed by myself, on how easily I can take these things, considering I used to live with so much comfort and hygiene.

Though, though, I am still counting down to the days for me to go home. I am ashamed by this thought, but I will not control it. I am letting it stay, and let’s see if my mentality will let it go one day.

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