Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

Culture Shock (or the lack of it!) August 11, 2008

Filed under: Update — Sarah @ 1:58 pm

When I came back from Moldova, I was in serious culture shock! Everything seemed so expensive, and big and brash and just commercial. Whilst on the train from Euston to Lancaster I’d decided that I was going to change. Relay had already hugely challenged the way in which I viewed money but Moldova just made it all so much clearer . . or so I had thought. I spent the first few days feeling like a Millionaire almost, but a very tight fisted one. I didn’t spend money on things that weren’t essential and I certaintly didn’t buy the most expensive things. But looking back over the past couple of weeks that I’ve been back, that didn’t last long at all! The feeling that £10 – or 200lei as I was thinking of it, was a huge amount of money just didn’t last.

And yes, I need to remember that I’m not living in Moldova and so I can’t avoid a £80 bill or £45 for a tank of petrol, but it does seem that I’ve managed to settle into British culture quite easily. And that’s because it’s just that – easy! It is so easy to think that things bring happiness and put effort into those things but life is so much more than that which is what I’ve been forgetting for the past few weeks. My biggest issue have been sorting out furniture and things that will make my life more comfortable! What I learnt in Moldova, was that money was in no way linked with happiness (which I had known before but saw it lived out in so many people) and yet I still seek comfort!

The stark reminder came whilst eating with some friends on Saturday, and realising that my meal was costing more than what was described by Pete in Moldova as “a huge sum of money” – £10. It is scary how easy it is to slip back into old ways.

I’m not totally sure if there was a point to this post other than saying how scary it is to realise how quickly we can forget things we thought we knew backwards – good job we’re not alone in all this.