Thursday, September 16, 2010

Culture Shock or Foreign Service Shock

I'm living week three right now and I'm having a tough time deciding if my frustration and mood swings are from culture shock or from Foreign Service shock? See I know that culture shock comes from being in an environment where people don't understand you, and you often miss things from home. From what I've been told it can lead to some pretty rough emotional and physical problems. The thing is I think I might be suffering from something else.

My problems right now are more about dealing with issues that the average ex-pat would not have to deal with. Things like not doing any real shopping until my tax exemption card comes through, dealing with a spouse with a very hectic schedule that I'm often involved with, and waiting for long periods to get answers about things that I would normally handle myself. Worst of all, I've met a few other ex-pats from all over the world (including Canada) and they can't relate to my problems at all. They're all going through the normal culture shock issues and that makes me feel even more alienated. Many of my new ex-pat friends feel that my life is rather easy since I'm getting help from the embassy.

I know I said I wouldn't complain on this blog, and I'm not really. I'm just warning you that living abroad with the government appears to have very different problems then going abroad in the private sector.

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