Culturally Confused

September 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm 4 comments

From which culture are you? I know I have readers that are American. South African. Nigerian. Australian. British. And the list continues. Being an expat, I am surprised that there aren’t more expats who stop around here. Maybe it’s because few will leave America for a lousy place like South Africa or something… That’s what I hear when I complain to self.

Self, Bertha and I sit in common disarray and discuss my cultural ambiguity. There are a grand total of six people I know that live like I do. My father, mother, brother and two sisters. (Nice I know.) And even their cultures are more intimately defined as either American, Like my brother and mother, or South African, my father and sisters.

There I stand. 16 years in the States in the tightest little bubble completely unaffected by American culture and 5 years completely immersed in South African culture – and a South African husband to boot. So what am I?

Out the window flew my quick fast easy meals on weekends (because weekends are party time right?!) and in came ‘visiting the in-laws’ and roasts, rice, potatoes, gravy, roast veggies, mash squash (sounding a bit like Christmas no?) and a three course dessert.

I can’t remember what self checkouts were really like- I understand more about Apartheid than I do the American foreign policy. I can name for you the ANC deputy president, remind you who Fugard is and probably will swear in Afrikaans before muttering a word of Spanish (in which I once was nearly fluent).

I remember the constant pressure to perform, the common restlessness of my peers and the materialistic spree of the media. Those things I do not miss. There are certain things I can attribute solely to my upbringing within the American culture. I believe in freedom above almost anything. I believe that socialism and communism suck ass. And that pop tarts are the healthiest breakfast food in the world. I know my directness is attributed to my so –called Americanness. And yet, Hubs swears that I speak with a thick South African accent in my sleep. I am culturally confused.

I am stuck in the chasms of cultures- one that wishes to be and the one that is.

And I lament.


Entry filed under: Touching Joy. Tags: .

While I was away Keeping you up to date on the DL

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ScoMan  |  September 17, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I don’t know that Australians have a defined culture, but then I’ve never been out of Australia so I wouldn’t know.

    That’s your problem you see. You know too much. You know all about culture, and so you seek your cultural definition. I know nothing about it, and so I just let it be.

    Maybe that is the Australian culture. Not knowing anything about anything and letting it all sort itself out.

    I’ll Aussie that up for you.

    “Ah fuck it, she’ll be right mate”

  • 2. hillbillyduhn  |  September 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Being an American, I think we have too many cultures. We have this one in that town, that one in that town, and if you go to that town, there’s a town inside a town with it’s own culture that’s not the same as the one that surrounds it…It gets confusing.

    Just going to state to state can be a culture shock. Heck, town to town even.

    I find all cultruals interesting. But then, I have an open mind, not everybody thinks like that.

    But then in all my babble, I just showed how American I am. lol

  • 3. touchingjoy  |  September 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    @ ScoMan- So true. And in all honesty, I wouldn’t trade this abiguity.

    @Hillbilly- For sure! I mean I grew up in the Pacific Northwest which is it’s own culture to the South which is entire different to the East coast. To each their own right?

  • 4. BloggerDude  |  October 9, 2009 at 3:36 am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….


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