I Was "CULTURE SHOCKED"

Calgary, Alberta
August 17, 2016 6:09pm CST
Before my young family and I moved from the Philippines (third world country) to Canada (first world or highly industrialized country), I kept hearing about Culture Shock. “Nah, except the snow, there is not much difference between Canada and the Philippines. Canadians speak English, we speak English. They eat MacDo, I eat MacDo, too.” I jokingly told my friends and co-workers. But I was wrong! First shock: On February 14, 1992, our plane landed at the Calgary International airport. It was snowing and cold (I think it was -25). O, I wanted to go back home! Second shock: A week after our arrival, my wife, 4 kiddies, and I were in the mall buying winter jackets and shoes. A young saleslady of WoolCo (now Walmart) giggled every time I talked. I asked her what was so funny. She said, “I love your accent!” and she asked “Do you always speak complete sentence in the Philippines?” Maybe she noticed that I spoke in a sentence complete with a subject and predicate, and sometimes with modifiers. I did not know then that saying “There is two!” is normal here but a “mortal sin” in the Philippines. Third Shock: Applying for jobs was not easy. It was a year of recession. A relative accompanied me to apply for work at Safeway (grocery store). There were 2 long lines of applicants for just half a dozen openings! One applicant asked me if I had Canadian work experience. I told him that I just arrived few days ago here in Canada and my only Canadian work experience was shoveling snow at the front yard of a relative’s house. Fourth shock: I was riding a city train heading downtown a month after for a job interview. A young guy and a young woman standing few inches in front of me suddenly started kissing passionately. I was shocked momentarily but eventually enjoyed the scene. Whew! I need a washroom break!
20 people like this
21 responses
@annierose (18021)
• Philippines
17 Aug 16
I heard a lot of stories about people having a culture shocked when they go to another country. I haven't been to my boyfriend's country but when he tells me about their culture, I feel very much surprised already. If here in the Philippines, we are very much welcomed to visit our friends, in their country is very much different. I wonder if it is only the Philippines where friends can visit one another even unannounced.
4 people like this
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
do you need a visa to visit him?
2 people like this
@annierose (18021)
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
@hereandthere Yes, there is a need. I am not yet thinking of visiting his country. I would love to explore other countries. Oh, too many on my list.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
@annierose do all the visa free asian countries first hehe
1 person likes this
@amadeo (73523)
• United States
17 Aug 16
The fifth shock.Is that your here.Where have you been my friend.Nice to see you
4 people like this
@cacay1 (33203)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
28 Aug 16
@SIMPLYD (83265)
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
But now you are used to them and it's you who culture shock them already .
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Aug 16
@SIMPLYD Well, it may shock the ladies a bit; but they love it when I tell them they are beautiful like those Hollywood celebrities. I know lots of husbands don't even care to remind their spouses they are beautiful. This is the reason that I do it for them. But every time I remind my wife how beautiful she is even with wrinkles lining up on her forehead and neck . . she pouts!
2 people like this
@SIMPLYD (83265)
• Philippines
19 Aug 16
@antonbunot So that's why the ladies like you so much because you make them feel beautiful . She pouts because you still mention that she has wrinkles lining up on her forehead and neck .
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
19 Aug 16
@SIMPLYD Just telling the truth. She also told me my hairline is fast receding and my butt is shrinking. So her butt!
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (33698)
• Philippines
17 Aug 16
Hahaha.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Aug 16
@Lucky15 apay katkatawaka met? Baka katkatawaam diay drowingko, deng! (translation: why are you smiling sweetly . . is it because of my beautiful drawing, dear?)
2 people like this
@Lucky15 (33698)
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
@antonbunot lovebirds. Hahaha
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Aug 16
@Lucky15 agsinsinppitda! (beaking-beaking!)
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (177121)
• Switzerland
18 Aug 16
Oh my, kissing "passionately" in a public place is a bit too much even for "first world" countries. It's cold here too, we get snow.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Aug 16
@LadyDuck Yikes! I hope the Heavens punished them "locked" like dogs?
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (177121)
• Switzerland
20 Aug 16
@antonbunot That would be a funny punishment.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Aug 16
1 person likes this
@koopharper (6837)
• Canada
17 Aug 16
I'm Canadian and passionately kissing in public is a bit much. We've had to chase a young couple out of our restaurant over that.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
17 Aug 16
@koopharper I think it is a sign of good luck when a couple in love start kissing passionately in your restaurant.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
17 Aug 16
LOL . . . . You did chase them. Next time don't! It is a sign of good luck . . . coz after that I finally got a job.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Aug 16
@antonbunot I didn't do the chasing. One of the managers got to do the honours. They started doing it in our restaurant with some regularity. I think the management was worried that it might upset a lot of our older customers and also that it might go further. Glad you got that job though.
2 people like this
@Happy2BeMe (74936)
• Canada
17 Aug 16
Welcome to Canada, glad you and your family could join us. I am sure it will take a little getting use to. We are pretty laid back in this part of the world. I am sure you will adjust just fine. So have you found work? I wish you and your family all the best. I think Canada is a great place to live.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
17 Aug 16
@Happy2BeMe . . o, those "shocks" happened almost 25 years ago, my friend. With the exception of my complexion I am now a real Canadian as I also love to say EH!.
4 people like this
@Happy2BeMe (74936)
• Canada
17 Aug 16
@antonbunot that is awesome eh? lol
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Aug 16
@Happy2BeMe Good, eh!
2 people like this
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
As long as it doesn't harm your well being and your integrity, that's just something you were going to get used to. Too bad though I never got the same priviledge abroad.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
28 Aug 16
No, not at all . . . but the cold winter is killing me.
• Philippines
28 Aug 16
@antonbunot I may not survive that lol
@shivamani10 (11187)
• Hyderabad, India
17 Aug 16
Sometimes hearsay will be different from the personal experience. This is what you had personally.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Aug 16
Most of my experiences were funny and some embarrassing!
• Philippines
18 Aug 16
sometime hearsay helps give you an idea on what to expect, and the personal experience confirms it.
1 person likes this
@marlina (78196)
• Canada
17 Aug 16
Interesting to read about your experience in Canada.
2 people like this
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Aug 16
O, I had lots of funny and embarrassing experiences here since we landed in 1992!
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
31 Aug 16
Making out on public is already happening here. I saw too teens doing it on MRT and I also recently saw 2 women making out on the carousel of Star city.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
31 Aug 16
Hahaha! I guess it is already happening everywhere . . . even in the amazon forest!
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
31 Aug 16
@antonbunot Netlflix and Chill is a thing here. Heck Tinder already made it here.
@ridingbet (59621)
• Philippines
27 Aug 16
hahahaha!
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
28 Aug 16
@ridingbet kumusta, deng? I don't have much time to be here. All work. No play. And worst, no s-x!
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (59621)
• Philippines
29 Aug 16
@antonbunot ahay, kabsat. how are you? why no s _ x? where is your wifey?
@Shavkat (65268)
• Philippines
19 Aug 16
I had tried this before when I travelled to Central Asia. I was in culture shock because it is a foreign land.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Aug 16
@Shavkat You did?
@Shavkat (65268)
• Philippines
20 Aug 16
@antonbunot I had a noble medical mission at that time.
@cacay1 (33203)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
19 Aug 16
hahaha kinda shocking encounters.I know this time you already have very good Canadian accent.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Aug 16
@cacay I can sound like a real Canadian and I still can sound like those Filipino senators and congressmen when interviewed. Sadly, I learned how to say - - "There is two of us", "come on in!" and to NOT cover my mouth when I yawn in public. Hey, most don't cover their mouths with their hands when they yawn. I still do!
1 person likes this
@cacay1 (33203)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
28 Aug 16
@antonbunot ,nyahahahaha, you are funny as ever.
2 Sep 16
Now I'm wondering what you are going to do with that washroom break haha
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
3 Sep 16
@BenRyanLee O, good to read from you again, Ben! Well, I ate a lot of grapes before posting . . and all of a sudden when I was concluding my post . . something growled inside my tummy! That was the reason of the washroom break!
@Macarrosel (7540)
• Philippines
20 Aug 16
Now I know. Enjoy your washroom break hahaha. And your image really catches my attention . Did you draw this one?
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Aug 16
@Macarrisel LOL . . I think you are a psychologist! You know why I had to go to the washroom. . . . I did draw this and all the cartoons in my other posts. I am sure you don't believe me when I say I draw using just the mouse. @toniganzon said . . .crocodile mouths!
@vickyrose (2031)
• Canberra, Australia
19 Aug 16
I can relate to your experience when I first arrived in New Zealand, 27 years ago. But hey, we survived, you're a real Canuck now
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
20 Aug 16
@vickyrose . . just half-half!
@ilocosboy (37466)
• Philippines
17 Aug 16
Oh wow, that was great experience there in Canada. Opps, but hope you won't feel the same way when you have vacation here.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
17 Aug 16
@ilocosboy, you make a point, friend. What are the new things (practices) that were not happening 25 years ago?
@Hatley (164484)
• Garden Grove, California
17 Oct 16
Julito Im an American and I do nit like to see couples doing everythiing but having real s ecright out in public thats wehy we have bedrooms yuck Yes Ican imaging a wash room breal wouiol have helped.
@JudyEv (134905)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Sep 16
I can imagine there would have been lots of little differences. You have been in Canada a long time now. Do you miss the Philippines?