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Thread: Culture shock - NO MEN TO POST

  1. #1
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    Default Culture shock - NO MEN TO POST

    Since I have lived in the DR, some 17 years, I know that I have gone through the so called four stages of Culture Shock : Honeymoon, Frustration, Adjustment and finally Acceptance. Thank goodness I am now in the last stage, but over the years I have seen several friends and acquaintances leave during the frustration phase. What do you think causes the frustrations in the frustration phase and why does it get so bad that people go?

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    Hmmm..well the unwillingness to adapt and/or change. Coming from the USA, Europe, Canada, etc...we are use to comforts. We expect things like lights, running water, etc..where as our Dominican spouse (boyfriend, etc..) is much more adaptable. No lights, no problem. No water, no problem,etc... The little things turn into big things, etc... Of course there are the more serious issues at times such as infidelity (for some),etc... I have seen other frustrations. One is thinking solely about today and not tomorrow when it may come to finances. It is not easy, but in the end for many there comes that moment when you realize the little things do not matter so much. You begin to see there is much more to the relationship than the small petty things. You being to appreciate the relationship and accept it for all the good and bad.

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    After living on a boat the "little things" like power & water don't frustrate me . It's the "gringo always pays" It's the one price for you and one price for a local. It's the be legal stay above the law when the law changes frquently. BUT I am not leaving and have moved on to the adjustment stage.

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    I am here 9 years and currently in the frustration stage, we shall see if I make it through. I am soooo tired of getting one thing fixed but they break two other things in the meantime..... I am sure it will pass as I have been through small stages of this in the past but this is a little different and am contemplating selling my home and either renting or moving back time will tell i guess

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    I am curious Matilda....Do you think these stages, especially frustration, are different for a woman living in DR ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Africaida View Post
    I am curious Matilda....Do you think these stages, especially frustration, are different for a woman living in DR ?
    I don't think so. I know that everyone goes through the honeymoon phase, loving the joie de vivre of the Dominicans, the dancing, the music, the colmado, the weather but after different periods of time, in my case a few years, the fun things are overshadowed by the annoying things like the noise, corruption, mosquitos, stealing, lack of respect etc. I think those who just come on holiday tend to stay in the honeymoon phase indefinitely. I think all the research shows that both men and women got through the same phases - the time comes when the things you love about the DR are replaced by the things you miss about your home country - especially the food! But once you get through the frustration phase, and become more at peace with the things you can't change, then people tend to move into acceptance and indeed have no desire to go and live back in their home country - or they return and regret it.

    Matilda


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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
    I don't think so. I know that everyone goes through the honeymoon phase, loving the joie de vivre of the Dominicans, the dancing, the music, the colmado, the weather but after different periods of time, in my case a few years, the fun things are overshadowed by the annoying things like the noise, corruption, mosquitos, stealing, lack of respect etc. I think those who just come on holiday tend to stay in the honeymoon phase indefinitely. I think all the research shows that both men and women got through the same phases - the time comes when the things you love about the DR are replaced by the things you miss about your home country - especially the food! But once you get through the frustration phase, and become more at peace with the things you can't change, then people tend to move into acceptance and indeed have no desire to go and live back in their home country - or they return and regret it.

    Matilda
    I understand I was just asking since it is in the Ladies only forum.

    I among the lucky ones as I just come on the holidays, so things don't bother me as much as I am not there long enough. Again, many of the things that bothers expats in general, been through it as my family comes from a developing country. I do speak Spanish, so yeah, I get the ocasional whatsapp whether it s a medical bills, a telefono that I am supposed to bring back (the last request was a family member of my ninera who needed to pay back a loan at the bank hoy !!), but thanks to years of training with my own family, I am an expert at finding excuses, I am always broke

    Having said that, I feel that living in DR as a woman seem to be harder (i could be wrong of course) because of the machista mentality. I find men charming most of the times, but the attention can get super annoying for example*. Or, the fact that they always feel like they know better, some ready to explain your own country *sigh* In my case, it would probably that aspect of the culture shock that would annoy me the most, but i guess you don't know until you lived it.

    *It goes both ways of course, listening to women complaining about their men, yet you realise 5 years later that they still with the same guys (after a brief stint apart).
    Last edited by Africaida; 11-15-2017 at 05:04 PM.

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    It is in this forum so that there can be a sensible discussion without the machista mentality lol. And has a good chance of staying on topic. I think the fact that you speak Spanish is a major advantage, the lack of communication ability often becomes a major frustration especially when dealing with authorities. The fact that you can get out of Dodge and only come for a short time, and also the fact that you come from a developing country again also help dramatically.
    I really don't think it is much harder being a woman, in my opinion we tend to get less frustrated than the men, but having said that for those ladies here alone it cannot be easy.
    Yes the men always know better - especially better than a foreigner and even better than a foreign woman lol. The things which annoyed me the most were my husband's family coming and taking over the house - cleaning it, washing my clean clothes, cooking everything in sight, but now i try and invite them when I have expat guests coming as I know they will clean the house from top to bottom, and they are not trying to say I don't clean, it is the way of saying thank you for having us. Me not understanding the culture at the beginning.
    The other major annoyance was me shopping for a week and the kids eating everything on day one. I didn't realise they didn't do weekly shops, nor the sharing culture. "This is mine" was not understood. Padlock on the fridge sorts that!

    Matilda


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    I think I skipped the honeymoon, we both are firmly planted in the frustration department, but we’ve made a lot of adjustments that help a lot.  Can’t say either of us reached the acceptance stage, and that’s more so with him than me.  Our stress levels there, as opposed to NJ, are through the roof.  

    I do think if we lived in “civilization “, i.e. Santo Domingo, even someplace like Bayahibe or even Juan Dolio, it might improve our life somewhat over living where we do, but who knows?

    Once we receive medical clearance for him, we’ll head back down, but we both have decided that 3 months at a time is about our maximum, after four +, we’re both over-aggravated. 




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    I don't think I ever intended to stay. Actually I never really intended to GO there - was just waiting for things to CHILL in Haiti in order to move there - but from 2004 to 2016 - they never did. My first landing in Las Terrenas was a shock - because I knew that I was at least going to be there - somewhere - for 10 years - til Medicare or the like. But lots of the gringas who came down were looking for a Boy Toy of some sort so it was assumed that I was like that.. I put a stop to that by becoming a volunteer teacher and so got along OK up there. It was pretty sad to hear the moto concho boys offer to "come in" after they dropped me off.. and had a bit of an adjustment to the mostly European women who would buy them with a pair of jeans..... Certainly nothing I was used to...

    I befriended one woman - who had gotten embroiled with and married to a Dominican - had two children by him.. and I could only stand aside and weep for her - grateful that I was beyond that age of wanting - really - either the man or the children.

    It was pretty amazing to me that I actually stayed as long as I did - but I had interesting work and made a few friends along the way and had a Devoted Staff.. amazing.. to have STAFF!! and the devotion was quite extraordinary..."qualqier cosa tu me llames" --- I am still in touch with both of my "hermanas" via FB - one has my dog.

    I did have two "involvements" but they were reasonably mature and eyes open...

    What finally really convinced me that I would have to leave in the end rather than stay was that it was a family place... and that I had no family there....

    And that no one knew my songs....

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