Living Abroad (as a Coping Mechanism)

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Rakshasa72
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06 Jul 2010, 3:35 am

liloleme wrote:
pbcoll wrote:
France: Paris is by far the most hostile place I've ever been to. Speaking French isn't necessarily a huge advantage, as it means you can understand the insults. Urban mentality has nothing to do with it, other cities, even bigger ones, aren't like that. I wouldn't dream of living there.


Are you implying that French people are hostile? Or do they just all happen to live in Paris? Maybe they picked all the hostile French out and moved them there?
Sorry, I take offense. Ever been to New York or Chicago? It is big city mentality and a big city that is over run with tourists like the cities I mentioned....ever drive in Los Angeles? There are wonderful people who live in these cities but its a survival game they have to play and sometimes it gets ugly.
I personally refuse to live in a big city....we are moving to Lyon but will be living outside the city.


I actually enjoyed Driving in LA.



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06 Jul 2010, 7:20 am

My observations about US :

-European airplane people are more nice in general , not that sour attitude.

-When I visited gas station in AZ to buy soup he got an attitude and said I could've bought it in a store , don't they want a sale......how the hell would I know where it was anyway & I don't fancy walking forever to find it , the place I stayed at gave me a map and I still couldn't find McD or stuff on the street I lived on.

-No "hello" or "goodbye" at stores , something wrong with that imo , this shouldn't even have to be mentioned.......it DOES bug me.

(then there was the search before entering London-NY flight.......it made me feel like a drug courier , it got me so upset I was crying when entering the plane.......I know it's their job to check for drugs and such but stressful after you've just gone thru security check , causes extra stress)



MotherKnowsBest
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06 Jul 2010, 11:08 am

Kiseki wrote:
MotherKnowsBest wrote:
I moved to Sweden and my husband and daughter, both AS, have found social acceptance and friends here. Of course that could be because here the social norm is very Asperger's like. :D


Sweden sounds like such a great country, from what I've heard. Do you feel happier and more at home there than in your home country?

Honestly, Japan's indirectness bothers me something fierce. I can hardly put up with it some days. I think I just enjoy living here as an outsider because, back home, I was made to feel like an outsider in a place I shouldn't have felt that. But here it is natural for a foreigner to feel that. So I don't mind the feeling much.


The image people have of Sweden is very different from the reality. Yes it's clean and wholesome and law abiding with a high standard of living. It's also as dull as dishwater. There's no passion. It's all very.... I dunno..... nice.

I miss the police sirens and the drunks fighting outside the chip shop on a Saturday night. I miss sitting in traffic on the M25 and having a bit of road rage, instead of never seeing another car when out and about. And I miss all the crazy eccentric bank holidays, full of cheese rolling, donkey derby's and birdman competitions. It makes you feel alive.



MotherKnowsBest
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06 Jul 2010, 11:25 am

Assembly wrote:
Quote:
I moved to Sweden and my husband and daughter, both AS, have found social acceptance and friends here. Of course that could be because here the social norm is very Asperger's like. Very Happy


I live in scandinavia as well. Social settings will always be hard, regardless of the culture, but scandinavians appear to be more emotionally cold and socially distant when dealing with strangers. When you go to the store for example, you're not 'expected' to have smalltalk with the cashiers - Just smile and say thx. . On the bus, you rarely hear people talk (unless they know each other) and avoid sitting next to others. On the contrary, people in southern cultures are generally more 'warm' and open - makes you feel appreciated and welcome, but it can get uncomfortable. I much rather prefer distance. Schools in scandinavia also put less emphasis on social activities than f.ex the american ones (this is based on my impression from litterature and movies) with less extra curricular activites. Sadly, schools focus little on diversity - it's easier for everyone to be equally capable. My impression is that weak students fall behind, are stigmatized and don't get the extra help they need. While there are no special programs for gifted students and some of them fall behind, fall into bad habits, procasinate or underachieve. Bullying, like in any countries are just as appearent in scandinavia, yet the social hierarchy and sheep mentality is probably not as strong as in America.
Obviously the people density is less than that of the US, even most cities are pretty calm and the nature is great. We also have a great wellfare system, and healthcare is free.
I'm currently on a masters program in a scandinavian university, and it's everything I hoped for basicly. However, If you want the full college experience, with heavy drinking and high party factor, it's probably not your thing.


From a social perspective school is much better here for my daughter (16) but from an academic perspective it's a nightmare. As you say, there is no provision for anything outside of the norm. Back in the UK she was in the National Academy of Gifted Children and had all sorts of extras to help her reach her potential. Here, average is good enough. Also there is no academic disapline. It's her choice whether or not she wants to do any work and of course she always chooses "not". And if she turns up late, that's fine 8O and if she doesn't want to take part in something that's fine too 8O and if she doesn't do any homework, that's ok, it's up to her 8O

Also, I don't know where abouts in Scandanavia you are, but here in Sweden healthcare is not free. I have to pay a small amount to see a doctor. I have to pay the full amount to see a dentist or optician. I have to pay the full cost of medicines, upto a certain amount for some and always for others. I have to pay to stay in hospital. And I have to pay if I need an ambulance.



Kiseki
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06 Jul 2010, 12:30 pm

coatesdj wrote:
Kiseki, I had forgotten about the vending machines! Another example of what I talked about in my post above...the last place I ended up living in Osaka if I wanted a beer to drink at home I had three choices...if I wanted a conversation in pre-war dialectical Japanese I could go to the liquor store next door...if I wanted a routine store interaction with the off probability of running into someone who spke English I could go to the Family Mart...if I wanted to pay 40 yen extra for the privilege of not having to talk to anyone at all I could use the beer machine on the corner.


Haha! That's right! I've personally never bought a chu-hi from the vend or anything. I have a Family Mart literally right outside of my apt. The only thing I don't like about it is how bright those damn fluorescent lights are. They don't seem to affect my friends but I always have to squint whenever I go in.



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06 Jul 2010, 12:32 pm

Todesking wrote:
I do not want to sound like a weird guy with an Asian fetish but did female Japanese think Aspies were weird or creepy when they first met you? The only foreigner other than Canadian I ever had flirt with me was a cute Pakistani girl who claimed not to catch my weirdness but I think she was just being polite. She was raised in Pakistan and moved here when she started high school. She claimed she did not date outside of her religion, But she did say she could put me in touch with someone willing to convert me. I think it was her way of saying go away. But It felt really comfortable flirting with her I did not know she was Muslim I thought she was Indian. There was a few Indian girls dating white guys when I was in school.


I'm a girl myself and the Japanese girls I know like me. But then I'm probably just amusing for them because I am very loud, randomly say hello to strangers on the street and talk about personal things I shouldn't :lol:



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06 Jul 2010, 12:34 pm

Went to Greece as a 6th grader. Did grad school in UK. Never had cuulture shock except in my homeland. I woyulkd be there still but for circumstances that we will not discuss.

The BIG advantage for me was - in Greece, Kenya, UK, Albania - NOBODY excprects me to look, think, act, talk like a native. In the US and Canada they hear my accent and think I SHOULD walk and talk like a native - and I can't.



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06 Jul 2010, 12:35 pm

Philologos wrote:
Went to Greece as a 6th grader. Did grad school in UK. Never had cuulture shock except in my homeland.


Oh my god, this^.



Kiseki
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06 Jul 2010, 12:44 pm

happymusic wrote:
Philologos wrote:
Went to Greece as a 6th grader. Did grad school in UK. Never had cuulture shock except in my homeland.


Oh my god, this^.


That is really funny cuz I never felt culture shock in Japan either. I've had my moments of anger but that was mainly due to people being indirect here.



coatesdj
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06 Jul 2010, 12:45 pm

Todesking--as I tried to intimate above, not really. The ones I knew who spoke English mostly didn't seem to catch on that anything was different, and the ones I knew who didn't tended to attribute anything that seemed strange to cultural differences or linguistic difficulties, which is understandable (not to go into too much detail, but it's a language that allows you to make lots of subtle gradations of politeness but not much in terms of gradations of sequencing, so it's sort of inevitable that there will be misunderstandings).



mikey1138
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06 Jul 2010, 4:51 pm

The part in Tony Attwood's book talking about living abroad really struck a chord with me as well (as did about 85% of the book as a whole). I lived in Germany for several years and was the happiest I've ever been. Now, I'm stateside again and really want to move abroad again. I'm currently learning Norwegian as to hopefully move to Norway. My family emigrated from there nearly a century ago so I feel a bit of kinship with the country and my hope is that any awkwardness might be attributed to my "Amercian-ess." Funny enough, when I told my mother about AS after my counselor initially brought it up, my mom said that that was just the Norwegian coming out in me but now that she's educated herself more about it, she suspects her father had it as well. Has anyone here ever heard of any statistics correlating a preponderance of AS in Scandinavian races?



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06 Jul 2010, 5:31 pm

i lived in england any friends i had were mostly south african / australian - i felt more comfortable with them than irish/english people. i dated foreigners and married one, but it didnt work out. i didnt live in a foreign country but i surrounded myself by other cultures



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06 Jul 2010, 5:44 pm

MotherKnowsBest wrote:
I moved to Sweden and my husband and daughter, both AS, have found social acceptance and friends here. Of course that could be because here the social norm is very Asperger's like. :D


Spent a month in Sweden last year staying the Darlarna county in the Borlange area. I have to agree that there is certainly a very asperger like quality to the people over there. I had the opportunity to go over there from a work colleagues parents who had a summer house that hadn't been used in awhile in exchange for bringing along a load of cheap vodka from the uk. They introduced us to a lot of the local tradesmen and people in the area who were engaged in preserving old crafts local to that particular area of sweden.

Some of the characters I met were just so obsessed with their particular field of expertise that I just couldn't help but see Aspergers written all over them. Some of the culture, heritage and history that was presevered was fascinating. Building viking longboats, forging, blacksmiths, knife crafting, restoring old motorbikes/cars from the early 20th century. Old timber houses with relics from the 17th century still inside them.

I would of expected it from some kind of tourist trap area (like York in the UK) but this was just your average little village out in the sticks hardly a place tourists from outside sweden would flock too.

Quote:
It's also as dull as dishwater. There's no passion. It's all very.... I dunno..... nice.

I miss the police sirens and the drunks fighting outside the chip shop on a Saturday night. I miss sitting in traffic on the M25 and having a bit of road rage, instead of never seeing another car when out and about. And I miss all the crazy eccentric bank holidays, full of cheese rolling, donkey derby's and birdman competitions. It makes you feel alive.


I think I would feel the same way moving to the more rural locations of Sweden. Being from the Greater London area I would probably miss the kind of opportunities and cosmopolitan atmosphere of a city like London in some corner of sweden. Even Stockholm felt like a very laid back city in comparison to other capital's i've been too in europe, despite seeing some wannabe gangsters having a fight in the city centre one night (swedish spoken in anger sounds funny) I kinda made this mistake recently spending the last year living in a small town in the peak district. Returning to a city like London has made me realise I wasn't really happy living somewhere like that.

On the otherhand being an outdoors person the place has a much more liberal attitude towards right to roam access. With so many forests and lakes becoming more spare of human habitation the further north you travel its basically the closest you can probably get to wilderness within easy reach of the UK. If you go next door to Norway they have some bizzare population distribution were peoples houses are all over the plae so you never really have big vast expanses of empty land unless you start going north of Trondheim. The landscape has huge appeal for me. You can also forage so many edible mushrooms and fauna from the forests that make a typical english forest look utterly sterile in comparison.

Things I'd like to take back from sweden to the UK are....

A) Sushi buffets (Cheap sushi big plus for me! Need these in the UK)
B) Rye bread, proper overload of fibre
C) Herring and Dill (i think they put crack in it, far too addictive, just doesnt taste the same what you buy in the UK)



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06 Jul 2010, 7:04 pm

i'm from Sweden and I too feel this a lot! Nice getting it explained like this! It has happened a lot to me ppl approach me here in Sw and talk English .. ?? I clearly look like I don't belong! :) :? (i look swedish enough, physically i guess) .. i've lived with my GF in the US for exactly one year by now .. and do feel that thing a lot, still. feel it much more relaxed around social things because i'm not supposed to know anyway .. :) such a relief!!

i think i can see why others may feel Sweden or Scandinavia is aspie-like. well, to me it isn't ... i feel very outside everything and i always did .. so i think that feeling of missing the sense of belonging others seem to share is universal ..


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06 Jul 2010, 7:44 pm

I lived in Paris for a long time. It's hard to adapt to French culture and the French do tend to be stand-offish with those who don't. However, once you've made the effort to meet them halfway they are incredibly supportive and helpful (yes, speaking French helps a lot, just think how hard it is for you to fully accept a foreigner living in an English speaking nation without any English; heck, England's about to require an English language test for immigrants).

There tend to be more idiots in Paris than elsewhere in France, but the French would be the first to admit that.